Tag Archives: foreign reserves

The IMF includes the RMB in the SDR basket

On 30 November 2015 the IMF voted to include the RMB (the Chinese “people’s currency” denominated in yuan) in the basket of currencies it uses to calculate the value of the Special Drawing Rights, from October 2016. This is largely symbolic but should encourage further international financial reform in China. * What does it actually… Continue Reading

Global foreign reserves are now falling

The foreign exchange reserves held by governments, having risen for over a decade, have recently fallen. This is mainly because they are being used, as intended, to protect against turbulence in financial markets that would otherwise hurt the developing economies. * Foreign reserves are assets held by governments as a safety net against abrupt changes… Continue Reading

The accidental trillionaire

China’s $3.9 trillion foreign exchange reserves were not planned but arose as a side effect of a strategy, now ended, of keeping the RMB exchange rate lower than the market would have set it. * Last week I visited the home of China’s SAFE – the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. SAFE’s reserve management division… Continue Reading

The international impact of abolishing China’s capital controls

Perhaps a little lost in the Christmas shopping rush was an interesting article in the 2013 Q4 Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin about what might happen when China finally abolishes all controls on its international capital flows, consistent with its stated policy goals. China has already had a very large impact on the international financial… Continue Reading

How to evade capital controls

The latest data on China’s foreign exchange reserves, showing a rise of $130 billion to $3.4 trillion, suggest that capital is flowing into China again after an apparent outflow ahead of the change of government in late 2012.  There is also growing evidence of Chinese residents smuggling capital into China by disguising it as exports. The… Continue Reading

China’s balance of payments: current and capital accounts now pulling in different directions

Every country’s economic relations with the rest of the world are summarised in the balance of payments. This is divided into the current account, which records the flows of trade and income, and the capital account, which records the flows of financial assets and liabilities. Usually countries have a deficit on one and a surplus… Continue Reading

Internationalisation of the RMB: what does that mean?

A phrase that pops up regularly in Chinese financial and economic commentary is the internationalisation of the RMB (renminbi – the people’s currency). What does this actually mean? Internationalisation is not an official or recognised economics term but China uses it to convey what economists would term a move to currency “full convertibility”. What does… Continue Reading

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