In reaction to recent economic statistics showing a slowdown in the country’s development momentum, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), announced notable adjustments to its loan prime rates on Monday. These changes represent the PBOC’s cautious approach to policy intervention. Although these adjustments were predicted, some people were surprised by how mild they turned out to be.

China cuts short-term loan rate by less than expected amid growing yuan  risksThe PBOC decreased its one-year loan prime rate, which has a big impact on Chinese consumer and business loans, by 10 basis points, from 3.55% to 3.45%. This action fell just short of the 15 basis point reduction that most economists in a Reuters poll had forecast. It should be noted that China has decreased this rate twice in the last three months.

The PBOC chose to maintain its five-year loan prime rate, which primarily influences mortgage rates, at 4.2%, in contrast. Due to worries over China’s property sector’s liquidity, where firms like Country Garden are on the verge of defaulting and Evergrande recently filed for bankruptcy protection in a Manhattan court, economists had predicted a 15 basis point fall.

Capital Economics’ Julian Evans-Pritchard, Head of China, stated: “The underwhelming LPR announcement strengthens our view that the PBOC is unlikely to embrace the much larger rates cuts that would be required to revive credit demand.” He highlighted that increased budgetary support would be essential for prospects of an economic turnaround brought on by stimulus measures.

On Monday, there were noticeable changes on the financial markets in China as a result of these rate revisions. Nearly 1.8% less value was added to the Hang Seng Index, which dropped to its lowest points since late November. The largest offshore listings in Hong Kong, represented by the China Enterprises Index, also experienced a decline of up to 1.9%. The CSI 300 index, which includes blue-chip equities trading on the mainland, fell by as much as 1% during this time.

These rate changes come after unanticipated decreases in short- and medium-term lending rates that were announced the previous Tuesday in response to worries about slow credit expansion, increasing deflation risks, and worries about late payments on specific shadow banking-related trust products.

China Trims Key Interest Rate To Stimulate Credit Demand Amidst Growing  Currency RisksAdditionally, the PBOC announced on Sunday that it would coordinate financial assistance for addressing local government debt issues and lowering systemic risks. Additionally, the central bank pledged to “adjust and optimize” credit regulations in the real estate industry and reduce financing costs for the larger economy.

Last week, the PBOC reduced the rate for 401 billion yuan ($55.25 billion) in one-year medium-term loans to selected financial institutions, dropping it from 2.65% to 2.50% by 15 basis points. In addition, the interest rates for loans under the standing lending facility for the overnight, seven-day, and one-month periods were each reduced by 10 basis points to 2.65%, 2.8%, and 3.15%, respectively. The central bank’s continued attempts to manage economic difficulties and uncertainties while preserving financial stability are reflected in these policies.


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