Forex Blog: Currency Trading News & Analysis.

February 8th 2008

China is Earning Negative Carry

China’s foreign exchange reserves currently approximate $1.5 Trillion, the majority of which is denominated in USD.  Moreover, the Central Bank of China earns interest on every Dollar it adds to its reserves but must also pay interest on every RMB note that it must issue to offset the Dollars. Since the Fed began easing monetary policy, the amount of carry (the difference between what the Central Bank receives on Dollars and pays on RMB) earned by the Central Bank has completely inverted, such that it now loses 250 basis points on average for each Dollar exchanged for RMB. 

Based on the rate at which China is currently accumulating reserves, this amounts to between $5 Billion and $10 Billion per month, depending on which method of accounting is utilized. Furthermore, this trend has been exacerbated because China is accumulating reserves at a faster rate than its economy is growing. Some analysts have speculated that this could turn into a major political issue, with important implications for the RMB/Dollar exchange rate. The Financial Times reports:

The renminbi has started to appreciate more rapidly in recent months, rising at an annualised rate of about 20 per cent, compared with 6-7 per cent over the whole of 2007.  In the longer-term, say economists, China will have no choice but to allow its currency to appreciate faster, even in the face of entrenched domestic resistance.

Read More: Beijing starts to pay for forex ‘sterilisation’

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Posted by Adam Kritzer | in Central Banks, Chinese Yuan (RMB), US Dollar | No Comments »

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