China central bank injects 7 bln into financial market

Updated 2016-12-02 12:56:42 Xinhua

China's central bank said Thursday it had put 739 billion yuan (107 billion U.S. dollars) into the financial market through medium-term lending facilities (MLF) last month.

Total outstanding MLF loans to financial institutions stood at 2.7 trillion yuan by the end of November, according to the People's Bank of China.

Interest was set at 2.85 percent for six-month loans, and 3 percent for one-year loans, flat with the October levels.

Banks were encouraged to increase financial support for small firms, agriculture and other money-starved sectors.

The MLF tool was introduced in 2014 to help commercial and policy banks maintain liquidity by allowing them to borrow from the central bank, using securities as collateral.

The central bank has increasingly relied on open-market operations for liquidity, rather than cuts in interest rates or reserve requirement ratios to maintain prudent monetary policy.

The benchmark overnight Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate, a measure of the cost at which Chinese banks lend to one another and a key barometer of liquidity, rose for the 16th straight day on Thursday.

Analysts attributed the cash strain to a drop in new yuan funds available for foreign exchange. Such funds fell for the 12th month in October, falling 268 billion yuan to 22.6 trillion yuan.

New yuan funds outstanding for foreign exchange refers to the amount of yuan Chinese banks inject into the domestic market when they acquire foreign currency. It is an important indicator of foreign capital flow in and out of China as well as domestic yuan liquidity.

In addition to the MLF, pledged supplementary lending (PSL) and standing lending facilities (SLF) were also used in November.

Liquidity injected through PSL to the China Development Bank, Agricultural Development Bank of China and the Export-Import Bank of China stood at 35.5 billion yuan in November. Outstanding PSL loans amounted to 2 trillion yuan at the end of November.

Also in November, 28.5 billion yuan was granted to financial institutions via SLF to meet provisional liquidity demand.

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