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Coming RRR cuts may swell liquidity, lower SMEs' financing costs

2020-3-13 14:35

A man wearing a mask walks past the headquarters of the People's Bank of China, the central bank, in Beijing, Feb 3, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

 

The People's Bank of China, the central bank, may conduct targeted reserve requirement ratio (RRR) cuts soon to supplement liquidity and push commercial lenders to lower financing costs for small and medium-sized enterprises, experts said on Thursday.

 

The upcoming targeted RRR cuts, possibly before or over the coming weekend, was decided at an executive meeting of the State Council chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday. In addition, the government has urged more financial support for speedy resumption of business activities amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

 

People close to the central bank told China Daily that monetary authorities have reached a consensus on measures for the next step, and the upcoming policies will put economic recovery "in a more prominent position", to reduce economic impact of the epidemic and achieve the annual economic and social development goals.

 

Monetary policy will focus on four targets, with "maintaining ample liquidity at a reasonable level" as the core. Other planned measures include using structural monetary policy tools to strengthen support for small and medium-sized companies' production resumption, further lowering financing costs through deepened reforms of the loan prime rate (LPR), and encouraging commercial banks to issue loans at preferential interest rates, the sources said.

 

Monetary authorities said tangible results have been achieved with regard to epidemic prevention and control, as seen in the latest indicators. As of March 9, the daily average coal consumption in major power plants rose to 80 percent of the consumption amount a year earlier, and the sales of houses and automobiles have stabilized or have risen.

 

Premier Li said that joint stock commercial banks will see bigger RRR cuts. He also urged financial institutions to better use the special re-lending and rediscounting measures, to guarantee essential supplies for epidemic control work and support bailout of enterprises.

 

Nomura Securities said in a note that the planned RRR cuts could add around 800-billion-yuan ($115 billion) loanable funds for banks. The six State-owned banks will see RRR cuts of 50 basis points, while other banks including joint stock banks, city and rural commercial banks, and rural credit unions may see 100 basis points reductions.

 

The last RRR cuts came on Jan 6, through which the RRR for big banks was reduced to 12.5 percent from 13 percent, and that for small and medium-sized banks was lowered to 10.5 percent from 11 percent, according to the PBOC.

 

"The targeted RRR cuts will release very limited funds, and commercial banks will still hesitate to increase lending without rate cuts, especially for deposits.

Sacrificing bank profits through narrower interest spreads will pose more difficulties to banks," said Wen Bin, chief analyst at China Minsheng Banking.

 

Since February, the PBOC has provided 800 billion yuan to commercial banks through re-lending and rediscounting mechanisms.

 

But the February money and credit data, which were released on Wednesday, have surprised the markets. In February, short-term loans to firms posted their largest monthly gain on record, presumably benefiting from the PBOC's re-lending program.

 

But new yuan loans dropped to 906 billion yuan last month, compared with 3.34 trillion yuan in January. Medium to long-term loans to households dropped the most on record as property transactions virtually ground to a halt in February. The lack of major macro loosening measures such as RRR and a benchmark deposit rate cut may represent this dilemma of the central bank and broader differences of opinion in the appropriate method to support the economy, said analysts.

 

"While simply loosening monetary conditions may not be a sufficient condition to get the economy back on track, we believe it is a necessary condition since there will be continued negative impacts from the virus, which will likely require additional policy loosening to compensate," said Song Yu, chief economist of Beijing Gao Hua Securities Company Ltd.

 

"The monetary loosening we have seen in several other countries may make it easier for China to do the same, without worrying too much about the pressure it will put on the currency. The March credit data may be on the strong side as the impact from the virus may gradually diminish," Song said.

 

2020年2月3日,北京,一名戴着面具的男子走过中国人民银行总部。【图片/机构】


周四,专家表示,央行中国人民银行可能很快实施定向降准,以补充流动性,并推动商业银行降低中小企业的融资成本。


国务院总理李克强周二主持召开国务院常务会议,会议决定了可能在本周末之前或之后下调存款准备金率的目标。此外,在新的冠状病毒爆发期间,政府呼吁提供更多的财政支持,以尽快恢复商业活动。


接近央行的人士告诉《中国日报》,货币当局对下一步措施达成共识,和即将到来的政策将使经济复苏更加突出的位置,以减少经济影响的流行和实现年度经济社会发展目标。


货币政策将聚焦于四个目标,以“保持充足的流动性在合理水平”为核心。消息人士称,其他计划中的措施包括利用结构性货币政策工具,加强对中小企业恢复生产的支持,通过深化贷款优惠利率(LPR)改革进一步降低融资成本,以及鼓励商业银行以优惠利率发放贷款。


货币当局表示,从最新的指标来看,疫情防控取得了明显成效。截至3月9日,主要发电厂日平均煤炭消费量同比增长80%,房屋和汽车销量稳定或有所上升。


李总理表示,股份制商业银行的存款准备金率将进一步下调。他还敦促金融机构更好地利用特殊的再贷款和再贴现措施,以保证防疫工作的基本供应,并支持对企业的救助。


野村证券(Nomura Securities)在一份报告中说,下调存款准备金率的计划可能会为银行增加约人民币8,000亿元(合1,150亿美元)的可贷资金。6家国有银行的存款准备金率将下调50个基点,而股份制银行、城乡商业银行和农村信用社等其他银行的存款准备金率可能下调100个基点。


据中国人民银行称,上一次降准是在1月6日,大银行存款准备金率从13%降至12.5%,中小银行存款准备金率从11%降至10.5%。


“下调存款准备金率的目标将释放非常有限的资金,商业银行在不降息的情况下仍将犹豫是否要增加贷款,尤其是存款。”通过缩小利差来牺牲银行利润,将给银行带来更多困难,”中国民生银行(China Minsheng Banking)首席分析师温斌表示。


自今年2月以来,中国央行已通过再贷款和再贴现机制向商业银行提供了人民币8,000亿元的贷款。


但周三公布的2月份货币和信贷数据令市场感到意外。2月份,企业短期贷款出现了有记录以来的最大月度增幅,可能得益于中国央行的再贷款计划。


但上个月新增人民币贷款降至人民币9,060亿元,1月份为人民币3.34万亿元。2月份房地产交易几乎停滞,家庭中长期贷款降幅创下历史最高纪录。分析师们表示,缺乏存款准备金率和基准存款利率下调等重大宏观宽松措施,可能代表了中国央行的这种两难境地,以及在支持经济的适当方法上存在更广泛的意见分歧。


“虽然只是放松货币条件可能不是一个充分条件,将经济拉回正轨,我们相信这是一个必要条件,因为病毒会有持续的负面影响,这可能会需要额外的补偿政策放松,“宋玉说:北京高华证券有限公司的首席经济学家。


“我们在其他几个国家看到的货币宽松政策,可能会让中国更容易采取同样的做法,而不必过多担心它会给人民币带来的压力。”3月份的信贷数据可能会比较强劲,因为病毒的影响可能会逐渐减弱。

 

原作者: Chen Jia 来自: china daily