China Adds Funds to Banking System to Avoid Liquidity Shortage

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China injected liquidity to the financial system by offering medium-term loans to banks, in the government’s latest effort to avoid a funding crunch this month. It kept interest rates on the loans unchanged.

The People’s Bank of China added 200 billion yuan ($28 billion) through the medium-term lending facility at a rate of 2.95%, according to a statement Monday. The injection was widely expected after the central bank said last week that it planned to roll over the one-year funds on Monday, depending on demand. It had allowed 500 billion yuan of the loans to mature on June 8.

At least 2.7 trillion yuan of cash will evaporate from the nation’s financial system in June as short-term bank debt and policy loans mature. That puts pressure on the central bank to maintain its supportive policy stance without fueling a credit bubble. While Chinese authorities have cut policy rates multiple times this year, they’ve avoided the large-scale stimulus seen in other major economies to avoid aggravating the country’s massive debt problem.

China’s central bank has been conducting MLF operations on the 15th of very month or the first business day after that, a pattern that analysts have said may help standardize open-market operations and improve monetary-policy transparency. Another 240 billion yuan of the one-year facility is due to mature on Friday.

Separately, the PBOC allowed 120 billion yuan of 7-day reverse repurchase agreements to mature on Monday.

— With assistance by Lucille Liu

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