BEIJING — China’s central bank continued to pump cash into the money market in April to maintain liquidity at a reasonable level.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said on May 2 in an online statement that 367.5 billion yuan (nearly $58 billion) was added via the medium-term lending facility (MLF) last month, down from a 432.5-billion-yuan injection in March.
The funds will mature in one year at an interest rate of 3.3 percent, up from 3.25 percent in March.
Total outstanding MLF loans dropped to slightly more than 4 trillion yuan at the end of April, down from 4.91 trillion yuan a month ago, as the PBOC reduced required deposit reserves for some banks to help them pay back the MLF loans due on April 25.
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 adopted such open-market operations more frequently to manage liquidity in a more flexible and targeted manner.
In April, the PBOC also injected 53.2 billion yuan of funds through pledged supplementary lending to China Development Bank, the Export-Import Bank of China, and the Agricultural Development Bank of China.
Another 46.7 billion yuan was lent to financial institutions through the standing lending facility to meet provisional liquidity demand.
PBOC open market operations are closely watched by the market, as they have become major tools for the central bank in pursuing its monetary policy.
China maintained a prudent and neutral monetary policy in 2018 as it strives to balance growth and risk prevention.