Worries About Chinese Banks Are Overwrought
After making their point, the PBOC extended liquidity to the better-behaving banks and confirmed it would continue supporting institutions lending judiciously to the real economy. Immediate pressures waned, with overnight SHIBOR retreating to one-month lows Tuesday. But concerns remain as banks still have trillions of yuan in WMPs, which mature quarterly -- many fear banks will use new liquidity to roll these products over, not lend to businesses, and growth will thus slow. And it might slow some -- but that's not necessarily why. As part of their engineered shift from infrastructure and export-led growth, officials confirmed banks will get plenty of money to lend to "strategic emerging industries," such as high-tech manufacturing and services. So credit should remain available, but the ROI likely won't match infrastructure gains.
But slower growth isn't bad -- it's part of the plan, which limits surprise power (and long-term market-moving potential). More importantly, China's new model requires a freer financial system, which necessitates economic reform -- something markets like, though it likely won't come without some growing pains.
This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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