ANI Photo | China: Central Bank governor warns economic prudence ahead of retirement

As the Chinese economy continues to struggle with the yuan’s depreciation and housing crisis, Beijing’s central bank governor ahead of his retirement has warned of serious economic prudence in order to avoid long-term repercussions, The Star reported. 
People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Governor, Yi Gang, who is soon expected to step down from the position, has flagged some crucial concerns and also offered advice in a recent article for the Journal of Economic Research. 
In the piece, he emphasised that China needs to maintain positive interest rates which should not be like the big stimulus and ultra-loose monetary policies that triggered inflation and market volatility in the West. 
He further suggested greater market-driven force and more flexibility in the yuan’s exchange rate regime, which in his opinion could help China absorb external shocks, such as from aggressive US interest rate hikes. 
“Maintaining positive interest rates is beneficial to providing positive incentives for the market, in line with the Chinese tradition of saving, and conducive to long-term social development,” The Star quoted Yi as saying. 
Yi has managed the Chinese economy through turbulent times during the coronavirus shocks and helped the debt crisis to turn into a catastrophe. 
In his article, he has suggested China should keep a prudent monetary policy and avoid “helicopter money” – or printing and distributing large sums of money to the public to spur economic growth. 
He also called for prioritising domestic demand, improving the marketisation of interest rates, stabilising market expectations, and reducing the cost of corporate finance. 
“[The PBOC] should fulfil the role of structural monetary policy tools and increase financial support for key areas and weak links in the national economy,” Yi added in the article. 
Yi received a PhD from the University of Illinois and was a tenured associate professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, The Star reported. 
Notably, Yi is widely viewed as a pro-market official and an important aide to Liu He, who stepped down as vice-premier in March but now is believed to still play an important advisory role to President Xi Jinping. 
However, even this has not been sufficient to get him the 65-year-old a place in the 20th Central Committee of the Communist Party in October. He only received a senior advisory role in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in a bid to reassure markets and investors as the country fights against economic headwinds. 
Yi’s removal as deputy party chief of the PBOC on July 1, signalled that he will leave the inner decision-making circle soon, and he also did not show up at Premier Li Qiang’s symposium with internet platform companies. 
“His ideas are consistent and clear: the monetary policy tools should fit in with the country’s economic performance and demand,” The Star quoted Zhao Xijun, a finance professor at Renmin University in Beijing, as saying. 
The governor has carried out a stable and cautious monetary policy in the past which has reduced macro risks and uncertainties faced by the market while mitigating economic volatility, according to Zhao.
The central bank will need to consider how to keep monetary policy better aligned with Beijing’s adjustments to fiscal, social and industrial policies while stabilising the recovery of the economy in the wake of pandemic shocks, Zhao added.
During his five-year tenure as bank governor, Yi was tasked with defusing financial risks, including the takeover of Baoshang Bank – China’s first state bank seizure in over 20 years – and the restructuring of many small and medium-sized commercial banks. The central bank also stepped up its regulation of Internet finance and scrutiny of platform companies.
However, the PBOC’s “three red lines” for property developers – initiated in 2020 in response to President Xi Jinping’s stated principle that a house is to be lived in, not for speculation – triggered defaults of many private developers, including Evergrande. It later relaxed financing regulations to ensure property delivery, but the risks have not yet been fully addressed, The Star reported.
Last year, massive protests were triggered after the embezzlement of people’s banking savings in village banks in central China’s Henan province.
Pan Gongsheng, head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, has been named party chief of the central bank. He also met visiting US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last week and is expected to succeed Yi at the helm of the central bank.
Pan, has more than two decades of financial industry experience, with a track record of steering the foreign exchange regulator since 2016.
However, according to The Star, he will face an uphill task against the yuan’s depreciation relative to the US dollar, partly driven by China’s weak post-Covid recovery.
China’s one-year medium-term lending facility (MLF) rate was 1.9 per cent, down from 3.3 per cent five years ago and lower than the US benchmark.
The offshore yuan also weakened to 7.17 against the US dollar on Thursday, The Star reported.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

ANI News Logo
About ANI


ANI is a leading multimedia news agency.


Study sheds light on treatments to prevent cancer, infectious diseases

Pakistan: Amid skyrocketing inflation, people in Karachi buying ‘most expensive’ flour