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February 8, 2018

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Forex reserves rise again

CHINA’S foreign exchange reserves rose for the 12th straight month to US$3.16 trillion at the end of January, official data showed yesterday.

The amount was slightly below the market forecast of US$3.17 trillion, and was US$21.5 billion up from the end of December, according to the People’s Bank of China.

A statement from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange attributed the increase to stronger non-dollar currencies and higher asset prices.

Cross-border capital flows and transactions remained stable in January, it said.

China’s forex stockpile has increased steadily since February 2017 after dipping below US$3 trillion in January, as the economy got on a firmer footing and the yuan continued to stabilize.

The reserves will continue to maintain overall stability in future, SAFE said, citing positive economic fundamentals and a recovering global economy.

It predicted a more balanced forex supply and demand, noting that the yuan’s exchange rate would see more “two-way movement.”

“As cross-border capital flows became more balanced, the administration returned to a neutral macro-prudential policy,” Pan Gongsheng, head of SAFE, wrote in an article published yesterday.

“The administration will continue to support legal cross-border fund outflows and inflows while cracking down on illegal flows,” Pan noted.

He said SAFE would adopt a rational perspective on changes in forex reserves and target a “dynamic equilibrium” in international payments.


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