SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s central bank may drain cash next Monday via a partial rollover of maturing medium-term loans, while keeping policy rates steady, a Reuters survey showed, as ample market liquidity and a sliding yuan reduce the need for imminent policy easing.
But some still expect the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) to ease banks’ reserve requirements next month, to aid an economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and property market woes.
Most of the 27 participants in the poll conducted this week said they predicted the PBOC will partially renew 500 billion yuan ($69.55 billion) worth of policy loans on Monday. Only three expected a full rollover, while another three anticipated cash injections.
All of the poll respondents forecast that the interest rate on the one-year medium-term lending facility (MLF) will be kept unchanged, at 2.75%.
Traders point out that China’s banking system is not short of cash – evidenced by the fact that market rates are lower than policy rates, curbing demand for central bank loans.
The scope for easing is also limited by a weak yuan, which has lost more than 11% against the dollar so far this year.
“We don’t expect policy rate cuts until pressure on the currency eases,” wrote Zichun Huang, an economist at Capital Economics.
Zhou Maohua, analyst at China Everbright (OTC:) Bank, said September’s robust credit expansion also made monetary easing less urgent.
New bank lending in China nearly doubled in September from the previous month and far exceeded expectations.
But some participants still expect the PBOC to step up liquidity injection into the banking system, in a bid to accommodate fiscal expansion.
($1 = 7.1895 )
(The story has been corrected to fix amount of maturing loans in paragraph 3.)