Han metido el YUAN, por fin, en la cesta de los SDR del FMI, con casi un 11% de peso:
Fundamentalmente a costa del EURO, que es el que más pierde:
Las consecuencias son positivas para China a largo plazo, ya que por fin se le reconoce su volumen de negocio internacional… y se comprarán más yuanes.
China's Yuan — Between Stability and Decline
The yuan’s addition into the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights basket adds to factors supporting short-term resilience in the currency. Longer term, the balance of risk remains tilted toward depreciation.
SDR inclusion doesn’t require anyone to shift assets into yuan. It may spur foreign-exchange reserve managers, sovereign wealth funds and other money managers to consider increasing the weight of the currency in their portfolio. That’s especially true as yuan rates look attractive in a global comparison.
China accounts for about 13 percent of globalexportswhile theyuanaccountsfor just over 1 percent of global FX reserves, according to IMF data. If SDR inclusion is acatalystfortheyuan’sshareofthelatter to catch up with its share of the former, more than a trillion dollars could shift into yuan in the next few years. Even if central bank FX reserve managers move slowly, front running by more nimble private funds may be a force for yuan strength in the immediate future.
Another reason to expect a period of relative calm for China’s currency: growth has stabilized. Bloomberg Intelligence Economics’ monthly GDP tracker has come in at 6.6 percent year-on-year for thelastfourmonths.Withthegovernment ramping up fiscal and monetary stimulus, the next several months may even bring some positive surprises on growth.
Cynics believe that following SDR inclusion, China's leaders will show their truecolorswithacompetitivedevaluation. That's unlikely, for three reasons.
First, China's leaders had a nasty shock when the market hammered the yuan in the days after the Aug. 11 devaluation. Cross-border capital flows have become more balanced after two months of record outflows. Even so, the central bank is likely in no hurry to see a repeat performance.
Second, China's businesses racked up more than a trillion dollars foreign borrowing at the end of the second quarter, data from Bank for International Settlements show. A sudden drop in the yuan would add to the cost of repayment.
Yuan Spot, Central Parity and Trading Band
Third, if China's leaders intend to move from the symbol to the substance of reserve currency, they will need to gain the confidence of foreign central banks. A sudden swing to devaluation would undermine that process.
Further into 2016, the yuan’s stability looks precarious. Exports are weak, contracting for four consecutive months. Inpart,thatreflectsdeficiencyindemand; global imports are shrinking at an even faster pace. Evenso, astrongeryuanhas also been a blow to competitiveness. In October, the currency was up 6.8 percent year on year in real effective terms. As China’s deposit rate approaches zero, space for interest-rate cuts diminishes, further increasing the appeal of yuan depreciation as a channel for stimulus.
Membership in the IMF’s SDR club might encourage more funds to flow into China. But the capital-account opening thatSDRinclusionisintendedtocatalyze may see even larger quantities of funds flowing out. An IMF analysis published in 2013 suggested that outflows would dominate as domestic investors sought to diversify their portfolios, and may add up to a significant fraction of GDP.
The start of the U.S. tightening cycle will be a critical moment. A narrower U.S.-China rate differential will increase selling
pressure on the yuan. A continued yuan peg to a rising dollar would compound exporters’ competitiveness woes. China’s leaders would have an excuse to step back from statements promising yuan stability, since they could argue the yuan drop is a consequence of shifting rates.
BI Economics’ view is that, in the short term, central bank intervention will keep the yuan steady at about 6.39 against the dollar. Rate rises by the Federal Reserve and rate cuts by the PBOC may be the trigger for the yuan to move lower. That may happen as soon as December, when the Fed is expected to raise rates. Given continued nervousness about panic selling of the yuan, and the need to allow Chinese firms to manage down their dollar exposure, that might be a little early.
The median forecast is for the yuan to end 2015 at 6.4 to the dollar and drop further to 6.6 at the end of 2016. The forecast range for end-2016 is for appreciation to 6.2 at the top and depreciation to 7.85 at the bottom. The wide spectrum underlines the difficulty in making a call on an exchange rate where market forces and government intervention continue to trade places as the main influence.
Yuan SDR Call Reflects Future Hopes, Current Use
The yuan’s use in international transactions remains heavily tilted toward trade, with limited adoption as an investment currency. On some metrics, progress on internationalization appears to have slowed. The dollar remains the dominant presence in global trade and finance. Taken together, the evidence confirms significant use of the yuan in trade settlement and a considerable distance left to travel before it becomes a major investment and reserve currency. In that respect, the IMF’s decision to include the yuan in the Special Drawing Rights basket is as much a bet on future adoption as it is recognition of current use.
As the world’s largest exporter, China has a natural advantage when it comes to raising the importance of the yuan in trade settlement. The data shows 2.1 trillion yuan ($329 billion) worth of China’s imports and exports were settled in yuan in the third quarter, up 35 percent from a year earlier. That’s equal to about a third of China’s total trade for the period.
China’s share of total payments processed on the SWIFT network continues to edge up. As of September 2015, the yuan accounted for 2.5 percent of total payments, up from 1.7 percent a year earlier. That makes the yuan the fifth most used global currency, jostling for the fourth-place spot with the yen. Overtaking sterling, which is in third place and accounts for 9 percent of payments, will be a longer-term project.
Progress on expanding use of the yuan as an international investment currency has been more halting. Cross-border portfolio flows in and out of China through programs like the Hong Kong-Shanghai Connect and Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor scheme remain limited. Extreme volatility on the mainland equity markets and concerns about unpredictable regulators has raised a red flag for international investors.
International Yuan Deposits
YuandepositsheldinHongKong,TaiwanandKoreahaveleveledoff and in some cases have started to edge down. That might reflect easier access to China’s domestic capital markets, reducing the need to hold yuan offshore. It might alsoreflectdiminishedinterestinholdingyuanasexpectationsofdepreciation grow. The consensus forecast is for the yuan to drop to 6.6 per dollar at end-2016, down from 6.39 toward end-November 2015.
The International Monetary Fund estimates that 1.1 percent of global foreign exchange reserves were held in yuan at the end of 2014. That’s up from 0.7 percent at the end of 2013, but still insignificantrelativetothedollar,whichaccountsfor63.7percent of total global reserves. It’s also behind the share of reserves held in Australian and Canadian dollars. Just 0.6 percent of international debt securities outstanding are denominated in yuan, compared with 43.1 percent for the dollar.
PBOC Currency Swaps
Swap agreements totaling 3.3 trillion yuan have been signed by the People’s Bank of China and other central banks. Currency swaps can be used by trade partners to cushion against a balance of payment crisis. As such, they reduce the need for dollar reserves and pave the way for expanded use of the yuan as a reserve currency. Foreign central banks have been given enhanced access to China’s domestic capital markets.
BIS FX Transactions
The Bank for International Settlements data on foreign exchange market turnover provide a comprehensive read on the yuan’s global position. Unfortunately, the BIS review is carried out only once every three years. The latest data, from 2013, show the yuan in ninth place, with 2.2 percent of global turnover. Based on the SWIFT payments data, its ranking has probably improved a little since then.
Bid-ask spreads in currency markets provide a more high-frequency reading on the yuan’s relative position. A tight bid-ask spread suggests strong liquidity and trading activity. On that basis, the yuan’s position remains some way off those of the euro, yen and sterling. Bid-ask spreads so far in the second half of 2015 have averaged 0.015 percent and 0.067 percent in the onshore and offshore yuan markets, respectively. That compares with 0.01 percent for the euro, yen and sterling.
Make Room, Dollar — Here Comes the Yuan
Recognition of the yuan as a reserve currency by the International Monetary Fund might boost the Chinese currency’s portfolio allocations across a broad class of investors. This would likely come at the expense of U.S. dollar holdings, which by far have the highest share of reported reserves, even though the weighting of the euro in the IMF’s new Special Drawing Rights basket may be most adversely affected.
The IMF will add the yuan to the basket of currencies used to value the SDR, a reserve asset created by the institution in 1969. The IMF’s Executive Board will make a decision on Nov. 30 and, if approved, the yuan will be included in the SDR basket from Oct. 1, 2016. Managing Director Christine Lagarde has indicated her support for the staff’s findings, which would effectively anoint the yuan as a major reserve currency.
SDR weights since 1978 have been based on a country’s relative share in reserve holdings by monetary authorities and the value of exports of goods and services. Preliminary estimates in August from the IMF put the yuan share of the SDR basket in a range between 14 percent and 16 percent depending on whether the yuan would be added as a fifth currency or replace an existing currency. Based on available data, the euro appears likely to lose the largest ground in the IMF’s new SDR basket.
The weights of the SDR basket create no formal obligation on the part of the IMF’s 188 members to hold a similar proportion of international reserves. Indeed, the IMF’s Currency Composition of Official Foreign Exchange Reserves report — a confidential survey on the composition of central bank reserve holdings — indicates a preference, in aggregate, to hold a much larger share of the dollar and pound.
Central banks have different reserve allocations because they have different circumstances. For example, countries with greater reliance on dollar-invoiced imports and financing might have larger shares of dollar reserves than countries with more exposure to imports and financing from the euro area. Countries with larger current-account deficits and central banks that are more inclined to
Reserve Currency Central Banks Tend to Have Less Reserves
intervene in currency markets need more reserves, while countries with major reserve currencies tend to have less.
The reduction in dollar portfolio allocations from the IMF’s recognition of the yuan as a reserve currency may prove larger over time than the change in the SDR basket would suggest. Dollar allocations may face greater downward pressure simply because they are so large relative to other currencies — more than three times the size of euro holdings, for example. Part of this disparity is valuation, a reflection that the dollar is trading at a 12-year high against the euro. The dollar has increased 21 percent in trade-weighted terms over the last five years, according to Bank for International Settlements’ calculations of nominal effective exchange rates.
IMF obligations — transactions which directly involve SDRs — need only be settled in a single (pre-arranged) currency. Theadditionofyuanto theSDR basket should, in theory, reduce SDR valuation volatility. That would reduce the need to hedge currency and interest rate risks for debtors with SDR liabilities and lenders with SDR receivables.
More of the impact of adding a new currency to the SDR valuation basket will
be felt as central banks increase yuan holdings to better match import cover needs. There are only 182.6 billion SDRs in circulation, compared with global FX reserves equivalent to SDR 8 trillion. An even larger yuan allocation would be needed as China lifts its capital controls, in order to correspond with increased yuan funding exposure.
The achievement of reserve currency status for the yuan would mean a significant reduction in China’s external vulnerability because foreign counterparties would be more willing to hold yuan. This would have knock-on effects for the Peoples Bank of China’s target allocation of foreign exchange reserves, which is currently likely to be heavily weighted toward dollars given the extreme size of China’s reserves and the corresponding depth of the U.S. Treasury market. In anticipation, the PBOC’s reallocation already appears under way, as indicated by U.S. Treasury International Capital holdings since 2011 — which shows a leveling off in China's dollar holdings
One clue that China’s re-allocation may not yet be complete is that the PBOC — which as of September started contributing on a “partial” basis to the
COFER report — has promised to fully disclose its reserve allocation for the IMF survey within the next two years. Given China’s large share of global reserves, position concealment is one incentive to complete the reallocation process ahead of full disclosure. Another incentive is that China’s response to the COFER survey will affect future weightings of the SDR currency basket.
For the remaining reallocation that may still be forthcoming, it seems likely the PBOC would wish to maintain yuan competitiveness during the transition to a consumption-based economy. It may also wish to maintain a large cushion of reserves to help smooth currency volatility during the push to open the capital account over the next five years. A mountain of reserves would also help maintain investor confidence as China navigates a plethora of challenges during its transition. To achieve both objectives, sales of excess dollars would need to be matched to the extent possible with purchases of other reserve currencies.
Reserve currency status for the yuan would mean that the rest of Asia’s central banks — which have the strongest trade links to China and collectively have even larger holdings of international reserves than China — would need to hold fewer dollars for import cover in the event of a balance-of-payments crisis. Non-Asian central banks with strong trade links to China would be similarly able to justify a reduction in dollar reserves in favor of the yuan. The more aggressive central banks would have already started this process, while conservative central banks may be more inclined to wait for the IMF to include the yuan in SDR valuation.
Many central banks divide their reserve portfolio into liquidity and investment tranches, managed by different teams with different objectives and risk constraints. The liquidity tranche — which focuses on short-term, high-rated assets that meet immediate liquidity needs — would be more obliged to respond to the change in import cover needs. Even if a country does not have strong trade or investment links to China,
U.S. Dollar Allocations May Face Greater Downward Pressure
the yuan will be attractive for diversification purposes in the investment tranche. Its potential investment earnings would also be appealing given that comparable yuan money-market instruments pay much higher yields. The smaller, less conservative nature of the investment tranche makes it more nimble in its ability to reallocate.
Those with the greatest portfolio rebalancing work ahead may be private investors. Foreign acquisitions of U.S. long-term securities by private sources amounted to $400.7 billion in the 12 months to September 2015, according to cross-border financial flows compiled by the U.S. Treasury. That compares with net sales of $156.5 billion by official sources. Sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, insurers, hedge funds, corporate treasurers, family offices and other asset managers would be under no obligation to hold more yuan- denominated assets, though the currency’s inclusion in the SDR basket would give the yuan credibility that it did not have before. As such, asset managers — especially those with more conservative investment mandates, including pension funds — may be able to justify larger holdings of
The willingness to hold more yuan and less dollars is one thing; the ability to execute is quite another. At the moment, the ability of private foreign investors to increase their yuan allocation is limited by China’s capital controls. There are special arrangements for foreign central banks that give them enhanced access to China’s foreign exchange and interbank bond markets.
Another hurdle for expanding yuan holdings is the perception of a lack of transparency and market manipulation by the Chinese authorities. Until access and perceptions change, these factors will slow the flow into the yuan. The depth and security of U.S. government bonds may also constrain switches out of dollar assets.
Central banks tend to adjust reserve allocations slowly, so as not to pit market pricing against them. This suggests a steady gradual stream of demand for yuan assets over time. Until portfolio rebalancing is complete, dollar rallies may be short-lived as these may be seen as attractive opportunities for investors in both the public and private domain to trim dollar exposure.
Charting a Decade of Yuan Moves
The International Monetary Fund’s staff decided the yuan meets the standard of being “freely usable” and will join the dollar, euro, pound and yen in its Special Drawing Rights basket. That’s the latest step on a remarkable journey for China’s currency. A decade ago, the yuan was widely criticized as undervalued, government controlled, and tradable only within the narrow confines of China’s domestic markets. Now it is close to fair value, with an exchange rate increasingly determined by the market, and a growing weight in global trade and investment.
Opening China's Capital Account — No 'Financial Crocodiles' Allowed
China’s 13th Five-Year Plan may target 2020 as the date for yuan convertibility on the capital account. That would be a major shift from the current system of quota-controlled cross-border flows, with far-reaching implications. The trialing of yuan convertibility in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone signals that policy makers mean business. Memories of the Asian Financial Crisis linger — during which international investors, referred to in China as "big financial crocodiles," laid neighboring economies low. That means the financial system likely won’t open its door to large-scale short-term portfolio flows.
Publicity surrounding the progressive opening of China’s capital account has been intense. The Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor, Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor, Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor and Hong Kong-Shanghai Connect schemes have all blazed a trail across the headlines. The reality is that, relative to the size of China’s capital markets, total cross-border investment under the schemes is miniscule. Total allowed investment is 2 trillion yuan, relative to a market size of 69 trillion yuan.
Proponents of accelerated opening argue that cross-border capital flows are necessary to increase the efficiency of investment, prevent the build-up of bubbles in domestic asset markets and accelerate reform of the financial sector. They also argue that a substantial volume of cross-border flows are currently hidden in the trade and foreign direct investment accounts. A more liberal capital account regime would bring those hidden flows into the light, boosting stability by giving policy makers a complete picture.
Against that, the bitter experiences with capital account opening for China’s Asian neighbors counsels continued caution. The lesson of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis — when Korea, Indonesia and Thailand were hit by the sudden exit of foreign funds — has not been lost on China’s policy makers. The rapid rise and rapid fall of China’s equity markets in 2015, triggered in part by the anticipation of inflows from the Hong Kong-Shanghai Connect, doesn't inspire confidence that domestic markets are mature enough to deal with major cross-border flows.
Cross-Border Portfolio and Other Investment Flows
The fragility of the domestic financial system adds to the case for caution. Bank assets have doubled in the last five years, even as slowing growth and weaker corporate profits add to fears about borrowers’ repayment ability. One of the main reasons that situation appears manageable, is because almost all borrowing comes from domestic banks and almost all of banks’ funds come from a stable domestic deposit base. Capital account opening would change that.
With international experience counseling caution and reforms in China’s domestic market still under way, what’s the best approach to achieve the target of capital account opening by 2020? In the immediate future, higher quotas under the existing QFII, RQFII and
QDII schemes, as well as the opening of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Connect would be relatively easy wins. QDII may be expanded to allow individuals to invest overseas.
Looking longer term, reforms that open first to long-term patient investors like pension and sovereign wealth funds, and only later (if at all) to more volatile short-term flows from hedge funds, seem like the best approach. Ultimately, the various quota and approval-based schemes will be subsumed into unlimited cross-border flows, with monitoring rather than approval, and a negative list for prohibited participants and transaction types. Even as China’s capital account opens, financial crocodiles may have to wait at the border.
Yen's Stalled Adoption Counsels Caution on Yuan
The history of yen internationalization offers a cautionary tale for the yuan. Japan’s experience suggests that a floating exchange rate, free cross-border flows and stable economic growth are all prequisites for a currency's successful internationalization. The challenge for China will be hitting all three criteria.
In the 1980s, yen internationalization was a hot topic. A policy shift to allow yen convertibility, offshore lending and non-residential bond issuance in 1984 started the process. The Plaza Accord in 1985, which triggered a sharp appreciation of the yen, accelerated it. Japan’s banks made inroads into the U.S. market. Continued rapid growth inWhat drove the drop in the yen’s share of trade settlement, FX turnover and FX reserves? Part of the answer lies in the appearance of new rivals — the yuan as a trade settlement currency and the euro, created in 1999, as a store of value in FX reserves. But the real reason lies in Japan’s “lost decade” of slow growth and deflation. As Japan’s share of the global economy fell, the allure of the yen fell with it. Barriers to foreign direct investment in Japan, and concerns about mushrooming government debts and an aging population compounded the problems and guaranteed the yen wouldn’t become a regional anchor.
Where does China’s yuan stand in this process and what are its prospects for advancing? Progress on adoption as a trade-settlement currency has been rapid. The government has taken steps forward on liberalizing the exchange rate and opening the capital account to cross-border flows. Even so, continued controls on both areas mean that progress toward foreign investment in yuan assets has been halting. If China wants to advance the yuan further as an investment currency and even as a regional anchor, a floating yuan, free capital flows and continued steady growth are all pre-requisites. As Japan has found, keeping all three of those balls in the air can be tough to do.
GDP provided triumphal mood music.
Currency internationalization comes in three stages. The first is use in trade settlement and financial transactions. Second is providing a safe asset for investment by non-residents. Third is to serve as an anchor for the regional and, ultimately, global market. In the 1980s and 1990s, the yen made rapid progress from stage one to stage two. Since then, it has stalled and even started to retrace its steps in some respects
Use of the yen as a trade-settlement currency started in 1960. As a major exporter, Japan has a natural advantage in pushing the adoption of its currency. Even so, early progress has proved difficult to sustain. The yen share of Japan’s export settlement has fallen from 40.1 percent in 1992 to 35.7 percent in 2014. Within Asia, one of the reasons for diminished use has been the emergence of the yuan, won and baht as alternatives.
Triggered by the Nixon shock, when the U.S. broke dollar convertibility to gold, Japan shifted to a floating exchange rate in 1973. Combined with steps to open the capital account in the 1980s, that paved the way for foreign investment in yen assets. Bank for International Settlements data show the yen accounted for 27 percent of global FX turnover in 1989, behind only the dollar. By 2013 though, it had dropped to 23 percent and third place. The yen share of global FX reserves dropped from 6.8 percent in 1995 to 3.9 percent in 2014.
Japanese Yen & Chinese Yuan —16-year lead
Yen Share of Global FX Transactions, Reserves
China Expected to Accelerate Financial Reforms
, head of Asia economics, said: “Within China the move will be considered a victory for financial reformers such as Governor Zhou Xiaochuan and it should thus strengthen their case for continuing with financial and economic reform. As long as those reforms are conducted cautiously and in the right sequence this should be good for China’s economy and financial system... The exchange rate is likely to become gradually more flexible in the coming two years.”
, analyst and a former China specialist at the U.S. Treasury said: While joining the SDR isn’t that significant by itself, it has been a important incentive for China to push through financial reforms and open up its capital markets. U.S. and IMF also used the application process to “keep China engaged” at a time when the reforms at the IMF aiming at giving China and other developing countries a bigger say are stalled.
, currency strategist, said: Obtaining SDR status could serve as a catalyst for further reforms. "If SDR inclusion can bring inflows to China, then the PBOC will be more than happy to liberalize some outward flows. SDR is one thing that some reformists will use to force the system to liberalize faster."
,senior fellow and former Morgan Stanley non-executive chairman in Asia said: while the effect on the currency’s levels will be limited, it’s a major victory for Chinese financial reforms. (Nov. 20)
, wrote: inclusion in the SDR
would be credit positive for China as it would support market-oriented reforms including gradual capital-account liberalization.
estimates: the yuan’s emergence as a major force in world markets may attract $1 trillion of foreign money to Chinese debt in the coming years. Approval probably also will make more countries comfortable including the yuan in their foreign-exchange holdings and boost President Xi Jinping’s drive to open up China’s economy.
predicts: the yuan inclusion in the SDR basket will lure 4 trillion yuan to 7 trillion yuan ($626 billion to $1.1 trillion) of funds to China over five years.
predicts: up to 4 trillion yuan of inflows.
said: winning official reserve-currency status would probably spur global central banks and sovereign wealth funds to put about $350 billion into the Chinese bond market over a five-year period.
,emerging-marketmoneymanager,wrote:“Giventhe changes made to the currency regime in August, there is more scope for the currency to adjust in value (weaken) over the next six to 12 months. The further out we look, the more we expect policy makers to allow the yuan to move in order to balance capital flows.” Inclusion will be the “key that opens the door to Chinese capital markets...The reward for China will most clearly be seen in flows into the currency from the world’s central banks and sovereign wealth funds, which should alleviate some concerns over the potential for capital outflows."
,analyst, wrote: The opening of China's capital account through relaxed outward foreign-investment measures may cause an uncontrolled outflow in household deposits seeking higher returns, increased volatility of the yuan and increased risks of banking crises. In
favored investment destinations, inflows of Chinese investment may exacerbate asset-price bubbles in sectors such as real estate and cause adverse regulatory protective reactions."
, senior investment manager, said: "I don’t think the inclusion of the yuan in the SDR necessarily is, in terms of investment, a significant event." The yuan will take up a "fairly low" share of the SDR when included and the capital flows into Chinese assets won’t be large.
, chief China economist, predicts: China’s central bank will keep the yuan stable even after the IMF decision. “China’s consideration is that if it starts a new round of depreciations, there will be very high volatility and it won’t benefit the market or the economy. It’s a market conspiracy theory that the yuan will weaken against the dollar immediately after the decision. The stable exchange rate will continue for a while.”
, head of global rates and foreign-exchange research, predicts: once China has SDR under its belt, it will let the yuan weaken, especially if the Federal Reserve raises rates by year-end. "After the SDR they no longer have the incentive to prop up the renminbi. A December hike by the Fed would give the Chinese a perfect excuse to let the renminbi go because they can make a strong case that they need to decouple their monetary policy from that of the U.S."
, co-head of Asia rates and foreign-exchange strategy, wrote:
Yuan Forecasts for 4Q15
The display shows economists' forecasts from this month only.
, global strategist, forecasts: China will let its currency slide more than 20 percent within 18 months. "A strong currency imports deflation and we are in a beggar-thy-neighbor currency war. A Chinese devaluation will prompt additional knee-jerk devaluations elsewhere in the region, but the Chinese have little choice but to participate."
, chief economist for Asia ex-Japan, said: "The SDR is almost irrelevant because the house is on fire." Reserve-currency status is "a small bucket of water 10 miles away" that won’t improve China’s economy. Policy makers will have to do a lot more in terms of reforms before the world is willing to own more renminbi. "Yuan devaluation is almost the only choice for China to steer some economic growth. It’s not just to stimulate exports, but it has more to do with allowing the series of monetary easing to be effective.”
said: the RBI is including yuan assets to diversify its holdings, even as the IMF deliberates on the yuan’s inclusion in its reserves basket. The IMF should accommodate the currencies of large economies with strong positions in global trade and finance. The Washington-based lender and other multilateral institutions such as the World Bank must continue to pay greater attention to emerging markets, and the agencies need a change in governance.
said: the real issue is whether the yuan is allowed to float freely or if there is intervention for political reasons. “The main concern that people have with the yuan is that until very recently it was a wholly controlled number and you couldn’t have any judgment of the risk.”
, chief Asia economist, said: "The renminbi’s rising status as an international currency will help to transform the current international
monetary system into a more multi-polarized system."
monetary system into a more multi-polarized system."
, chief China economist, said: "RMB’s SDR inclusion will have a profound impact on the global financial market and the international monetary order." Along with capital-market opening and the Silk Road plans, it will lead to "much greater use of the currency in both trade and financial tractions globally in the medium term."
, chief China economist, said: “We believe the market’s confidence in the yuan will grow because of SDR, but this is a medium- to long-term process. It depends on China’s economic fundamentals and the progress of financial-market reforms, such as the diversity and liquidity of products. The infrastructure must be built well.”
, economist, said: The yuan would become "the first developing country currency" with reserve status. "This may increase instability to the international monetary system, as we saw after the RMB FX reform in August."
, head of currency strategy wrote: SDR status doesn’t necessarily make yuan a more attractive reserve currency. “Political concession” of IMF to China may not prompt central banks to diversify their reserves into yuan more actively.
, managing director, said: inclusion of the yuan in the IMF’s SDR basket will have a modest impact on demand for yuan assets. The value of it at this stage is symbolic — a move that endorses China’s reform program.
, former academic member of the PBOC’s monetary policy committee said: "Over the past two decades, the single most important market distortion has been exchange-rate distortion. Without a flexible exchange rate, the renminbi internationalization will not go very far. The inclusion is symbolic, though it should be regarded as a good thing. It will not have any significant impact on anything and it will change nothing unless the inclusion is a step toward more reforms of the international monetary system."
What SDR Inclusion Means and How It Works
The fund created the SDR in 1969 to boost global liquidity as the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates unraveled. While the SDR is not technically a currency, it gives IMF member countries who hold it the right to obtain any of the currencies in the basket — currently the dollar, euro, yen and pound — to meet balance-of-payments needs. So the ability to convert SDRs into yuan on demand is crucial. Its value is currently based on weighted rates for the four currencies.
The SDR is neither a currency nor a claim on the IMF. Holders may obtain currencies in the basket in exchange for their SDRs in two ways: first, by voluntary exchanges between members, and second, by the IMF designating members with strong external positions to purchase SDRs from members with weak external positions. The SDR is also a unit of account of the IMF.
The equivalent of about $280 billion in SDRs were created and allocated to IMF members as of September, compared with about $11.3 trillion in global reserve assets. The U.S. reported about $50 billion in SDR holdings as of August.
The SDR is meant to support the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system. A country participating in this system needed official reserves that could be used to buy the domestic currency in
foreign exchange markets to maintain its
exchange rate. Since the international supply of gold and the dollar proved inadequate for supporting the expansion of world trade, the SDR was created.
Although the Bretton Woods system collapsed and major currencies shifted to a floating-rate regime, the SDR played a critical role in providing liquidity and supplementing member countries’official reservesduringtheglobalfinancialcrisis.
In a 2009 speech, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said the global financial crisis underscored the risks of a global monetary system that relies on national reserve currencies. While not mentioning the yuan by name, Zhou argued that the SDR should take on the role of a “super-sovereign reserve currency,” with its basket expanded to include currencies of all major economies.
Chinese officials have since been more explicit. After meeting President Barack Obama at the White House in September, President Xi Jinping thanked the U.S. for its conditional support for the yuan joining the SDR. Winning the IMF’s endorsement would allow reformers within the Chinese government to argue that the country’s shift toward a more market-based economy is bearing fruit.
The SDR weighting of a currency depends on both its share in global reservesandthecountry’sshareinglobal trade. The relative importance of these two factors is roughly split at 40-to- 60, according to Goldman Sachs estimates.
The weight is unlikely to be straightforward. Possible options would be to use only trade share or use a proxy gauge of yuan share in global reserves. It would most likely be a combination of the
two. In the initial review, IMF staff mentioned that their preliminary estimates put the yuan’s weight around 15 percent.
Members may hold their SDRs as part of their international reserves or sell part or all of their SDR allocations. Members may exchange SDRs for freely usable currencies among themselves and with prescribed holders.
IMF members may also use SDRs in operations and transactions involving the IMF, such as the payment of interest on repayment of loans or payment for future quota increases.
The value of the SDR in dollar terms is determined daily. It is calculated as the sum of specific amounts of the four basket currencies valued in dollars. The basket composition is typically reviewed every five years, and the next review is scheduled for this year-end.
The IMF may allocate SDRs to member countries in proportion to their quotas. The allocation provides each member with a costless, unconditional international reserve asset.
The IMF articles allow for cancellations of SDRs, but this provision has never been used.
General SDR allocations have been made only three times: 1970-72, 1979-81 and 2009. For more than two decades, the SDR market has functioned through voluntary trading arrangements.
PD1: Consecuencias de la inclusión en la cesta del FMI:
Visión de las gestoras internacionales sobre la inclusión del yuan en la cesta del FMI: impacto simbólico a corto plazo, pero profundo a largo plazo
EL RENMIMBI TENDRÁ UNA PONDERACIÓN CERCANA AL 11% A PARTIR DEL 1 DE OCTUBRE DE 2016
Primeras reacciones de las gestoras internacionales sobre la decisión del FMI de incluir al renmimbi en su cesta de divisas con derechos especiales de giro como reconocimiento al progreso de las reformas estructurales en China.
Ya es oficial: el FMI ha decidido incluir al renmimbi en su cesta de divisas con derechos especiales de giro junto con el euro, el dólar, la libra y el yen. La divisa china, que será incluida el 1 de octubre del año que viene, tendrá una ponderación del 10,92% dentro de la cesta. Es la primera alteración que se realiza desde 2001, cuando se introdujo el euro y se retiraron al marco alemán y el franco francés.
La opinión entre las gestoras internacionales sobre este acontecimiento está bastante consensuada: el significado del movimiento del FMI es más simbólico que real. O, como afirma Martin Gilbert (consejero delegado y cofundador de Aberdeen), “esto no va a suponer un cambio dramático de la noche a la mañana”. Para Gilbert, se trata de “ un golpe de efecto político para los chinos, ya que pueden presentarlo a nivel doméstico como un reflejo de la creciente importancia de China en el mundo”.
El experto opina que el impacto de la medida no será inmediato, sino que se reflejará a lo largo del tiempo:“Los chinos quieren obtener ingresos desde el extranjero en su propia moneda en lugar de tener que hacer la conversión a dólares todo el tiempo. Si las autoridades chinas continúan en la lenta tendencia de liberalización de la moneda, entonces esto generará un importante aumento de la demanda, y con ello, el impacto de la inclusión del yuan en el cesta de divisas con derechos de giro especiales”, concluye.
Otras gestoras, en cambio, han preferido ver la decisión del FMI como un reconocimiento de los avances que ha realizado el gigante asiático en materia de reformas estructurales. Regina Borromeo, gestora de Brandywine (filial de Legg Mason Global AM), se encuentra en este grupo: “La aprobación del yuan para la cesta de divisas es un fuerte respaldo a todos los pasos que ha dado China para liberalizar sus mercados financieros”. A pesar de este hito, la experta advierte que “todavía hay un montón de trabajo por hacer respecto a la liquidez de la divisa, la transparencia financiera y las reformas del mercado de capital”.
En una posición intermedia se encuentra Haiyan Li-Labbé, analista de Carmignac: "La inclusión del renmimbi no tendrá un impacto material inmediato pero creemos que sí tendrá un impacto muy profundo en el largo plazo. La decisión del FMI equivale a 3.000 millones extra de reservas en renmimbis, pero no será inmediato porque no se incluirá la divisa hasta octubre del año que viene". Li-Labbé realiza más matizaciones, pues recuerda que “los bancos centrales no tienen la obligación de invertir en renmimbis después de su inclusión en la cesta de divisas con derechos especiales de cambio, pero a partir de ahora pueden empezar a considerar los fundamentales de la economía china, la rentabilidad y otros factores si deciden incrementar sus reservas de divisas”. “Teniendo en cuenta que las reservas de divisas en balances de bancos centrales ascienden a unos 12 billones de dólares en todo el mundo, estaríamos hablando de una demanda potencial de renmimbis de 1,2 billones de dólares", añade.
La experta subraya la importancia de esta decisión en el contexto de reconocimiento del estatus de China en la economía global y los mercados financieros: “China representa aproximadamente un 15% del comercio internacional y casi un 3% de los volúmenes de operaciones está denominado en renmimbis, y el volumen de transacciones ya supone un 3% en esta divisa. Además, gracias a la decisión del FMI China podrá emitir deuda soberana, de gobiernos locales y corporativa denominada en yuanes para inversores internacionales. De aquí en adelante, las compañías chinas - incluyendo las de propiedad estatal- podrán financiarse en renmimbis en los mercados internacionales, en comparación con el tamaño limitado que mostraban en el pasado. El efecto se notará más en los bonos que en las acciones del país"
"Además, considera que la medida también podría estimular el desarrollo del sistema de trading en renmimbis, con el que el país pretende competir con EE.UU.: “Para acompañar a esta internacionalización, China está desarrollando su propio sistema internacional de pagos para competir con el sistema de transferencias estadounidense SWIFT. CIPS (China International Payments System) es un sistema que los bancos chinos e internacionales pueden utilizar para operar directamente en renminbis, sin necesidad de intermediarios.”
Dicho todo esto, la representante de Carmignac ruega cautela: “Los inversores no deberían emocionarse mucho. No esperamos un gran movimiento de la divisa ni de la renta variable en el corto plazo, aunque no se debe subestimar el impacto en el largo plazo. No esperamos una gran devaluación del renmimbi, sino una modesta depreciación antes de octubre de 2016”. Li-Labbé matiza estas declaraciones: “No esperamos una gran devaluación del renmimbi, porque la divisa ya ha reflejado el impacto del recorte de tipos del Banco Popular de China a finales de octubre. Creemos que los tipos de interés seguirán a la baja en China al tiempo que la Reserva Federal subirá tipos en EE.UU. La devaluación del renmimbi será relativo al dólar, no contra otras divisas".
“Las autoridades chinas han estado abriendo el mercado financiero en los últimos dos años, en un proceso en marcha. Necesitan atraer a más inversores internacionales, especialmente los institucionales, para contribuir así a educar a los inversores locales, que son predominantemente minoristas y no cuentan con educación financiera. La apertura del mercado será gradual", reflexiona la analista a modo de conclusión.
Una visión contrarian
Mauro Ratto, responsable de emergentes de Pioneer Investments, se desmarca del resto de expertos consultados para la elaboración de este artículo: “China espera mucho de la inclusión del renmimbi en la cesta con derechos especiales de giro del FMI, pero la apertura del mercado de capital asociada a este evento puede ser una puerta abierta a la salida de capital. Si eres una persona pudiente que vive en China, lo más lógico es que al abrirse la economía quieras vender renmimbi para comprar activos de otras regiones y diversificar. Esto significa que se producirán flujos de salida de capital que van a empujar a la depreciación del renmibmi”.
No obstante, Ratto admite que “un aspecto interesante de la inclusión del renmimbi es que seguramente algunas materias primas podrían empezar a denominarse en esta divisa”. También cree que tras la inclusión del renmimbi podría repuntar la demanda de materias primas en China, al menos la demanda de oro: “Creo que los chinos comprarán más oro para proteger a la divisa. Tener muchas reservas de oro es una buena forma de mostrar fortaleza y compensar la falta de transparencia de la moneda”.
“Creo que la acción del FMI ha sido sobreestimada por los chinos, pero éstos tienen una oportunidad para el éxito si consiguen implementar nuevas reformas y atraer a inversores extranjeros”, concluye el experto.
PD2: "La oración no consiste en pensar mucho, sino en amar mucho" (Santa Teresa de Jesús)