This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Borrowed Dollars Reported to Be Pouring Into China

BEIJING (TheStreet) -- Investors who poured borrowed U.S. dollars into China and falsely claimed the cash as export earnings contributed to a sudden spike in the Chinese government's forex reserves in the second half of 2013, according to an investment bank report.

Forex surged as Chinese companies and other investors used so-called "hot money" tricks to evade Beijing's money controls, said the report released Monday by the Hong Kong branch of the Japanese investment bank Daiwa Securities. Many apparently borrowed dollars at low rates in Hong Kong and parked the money in high-yielding bonds in China.

"Money is being sucked into China, mostly because of higher yields" offered on Chinese government and corporate bonds, and on wealth-management investment products sold by Chinese banks, the report said.

The People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, reported a US$ 160 billion increase in forex reserves in the fourth quarter alone, ending the year with US$ 3.28 trillion on hand. The increase for the whole second half of last year was US$ 323 billion, compared with a US$ 185 billion rise in the first half of 2013 and a US$ 130 billion increase for the entire year of 2012.

The Daiwa report estimated about US$ 256 billion of the new foreign currency flowing into forex reserves through China's currency control system between June and December was "chasing higher yields" offered by mainland investment products, like bonds. To get around controls "many companies most likely falsified trade transactions in order to bring in money from outside," the report said.

Some of those dollar-attracting investment products are particularly risky, the report said, and may be tied to bonds or other instruments issued in recent years by heavily indebted local governments across China.

"Higher yields also mean a higher credit-risk premium, and this premium is being underpriced because cheap dollars are still up for grabs," the report warned. "When credit becomes as overstretched as it is now, a full-blown crisis is only a matter of time, in our view."

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

Eric Johnson is a journalist with 30+ years of experience. Chinese business-financial news has been his mainstay since 2006.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,387.21 -291.49 -1.65%
S&P 500 2,029.55 -27.54 -1.34%
NASDAQ 4,681.4970 -90.2660 -1.89%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs