Chinese Interbank Funding Freezes Again As Overnight Repo Hits 33%
While we have previously shown the amazing gimmicks the Chinese central bank does with the short end of the offshore Yuan interbank offered rate, which as previously explained, and as shown in the animation below, has become the PBOC’s favorite means of punishing currency speculators by making Yuan borrowing costs against shorts crushingly high, forcing short unwinds…
… when it comes to more traditional unsecured short-term funding markets, like the simple overnight repo, these reflect overall levels of liquidity in the interbank market, or as the case may be, complete absence thereof.
And while China is notorious for suffering major liquidity shortages heading into a new year (including the non-lunar variety), what happened overnight in China is worth pointing out because according to Bloomberg data, the overnight repo rate traded on Shanghai Stock Exchange soared as much as 30.87% to 33%, the highest since September 29, before closing at 18.55%.
And while some of the liquidity squeeze was certainly calendar driven, what is more concerning for Chinese markets, where as we reported recently the local authorities, regulators and even press are confirming that the government crackdown on the credit and housing bubble may be serious for once due to fears about “rising social tensions”, much of the overnight repo rate spike was driven by the PBOC which pulled a net 150 billion yuan of funds in open-market operations today, the most since December 7.
The result was another brief, but painful, freeze of the interbank lending market.
Should the PBOC continue to not only not inject liquidity among banks, but aggressively withdraw it, it is possible that a repeat of the 2013 bank crisis when as a result of the government’s eagerness to delever the economy it almost crushed its financial sector (it ultimately gave up, with Chinese debt/GDP subsequently rising to 300% according to the IIF), should be one of the more notable risk factors for 2017.