BEIJING — The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) decided on Oct 7 to cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for RMB deposits by one percentage point starting from Oct 15, but the stance of China’s monetary policy remains unchanged.
The fourth RRR cut of the year will cover the yuan deposits of large commercial banks, share-holding commercial banks, city commercial banks, non-county rural commercial banks and foreign banks.
Wen Bin, chief researcher of China Minsheng Bank, said that the move would unleash 1.2 trillion yuan of capital into the market, but it would not change the central bank’s stance of sticking to a prudent and neutral monetary policy, as its goal was to reduce financing costs of the real economy.
A statement of the central bank said that some of the liquidity unleashed will be used to pay back the 450 billion yuan of the medium-term lending facility (MLF) that will mature on Oct 15.
Zeng Gang, a researcher with the Institute of Finance and Banking of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said using the RRR cut to replace the MLF operation could optimize the maturity structure of credit, allow financial institutions to access long-term funds steadily and therefore reduce the financing costs of the real economy.
This was the second time that the central bank used RRR cuts to replace MLF operation this year.
Wu Qing, chief economist of the China Orient Asset Management Company, said that the move was consistent with market expectations, and in the future, the central bank might continue to use MLF and other tools to make fine adjustments on liquidity.
According to the central bank, the incremental capital of 750 billion yuan will be injected into the market to support small, micro and private enterprises and innovative enterprises to enhance the vitality and resilience of the Chinese economy, strengthen endogenous growth momentum and promote the healthy development of the real economy.
The move remains targeted at adjustment with a goal to optimize the liquidity structure of commercial banks and the financial market and to reduce financing costs, said the central bank.
The PBOC will continuously implement a prudent and neutral monetary policy, refrain from using a deluge of stimulus and focus on targeted adjustment to maintain sound and sufficient liquidity, facilitate rational growth in monetary credit and social financing and create a proper monetary and financial environment for the country to pursue high-quality economic development and advance the supply-side structural reform, it said.
The RRR cut will fill in the liquidity gap of banks and put no downward pressure on the yuan as the country’s monetary policy is not eased, according to the PBOC statement.
There are sufficient conditions for the RMB exchange rate to remain basically stable at a reasonable and balanced level, it said.
“The PBOC will continue to take necessary measures to stabilize market expectations and keep the foreign exchange market running smoothly,” it said.
Dong Ximiao, a researcher with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of the Renmin University of China, noted that the steadily growing Chinese economy also faced challenges.
Apart from ensuring reasonably sufficient liquidity, the government could also use fiscal and taxation policies to stimulate growth and enhance economic sustainability, Dong said.