Banks

Pedestrians walk in front of an electronic quotation board displaying share prices of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo, Japan, on 6 January 2022. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP)

Can a sliding Japanese yen survive the Fed's interest rate hike?

The Japanese yen has been on a prolonged decline and is unlikely to see an upside given the Japanese central bank’s persistence with its ultra-loose monetary policy. As a result, Japan’s trade balance is worsening and the Japanese people are feeling the crunch as energy and consumer goods prices soar. Chinese academic Zang Shijun believes that the Japanese currency will face even more pressure of rapid depreciation as the US Federal Reserve raises interest rates.
Chinese and Sri Lankan national flags flutter from poles at the Chinese-funded sea reclamation Port City project as sail boats compete in a sailing event attended by Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi (not pictured) on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Sri Lanka and China at the Colombo Port city project, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 9 January 2022. (Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP)

Funding wars between China and the West: The politics of bankrolling developing countries

While several alternatives to China's Belt and Road Initiative have sprung up, such as the G7’s Build Back Better World and the EU’s Global Gateway, developing countries are not exactly facing a buffet spread of options, as each avenue comes with strings attached. Only time will tell if China will turn out to be a more benevolent lender and if the new Cold War will bring better spoils for developing countries.
A woman walks on a sidewalk in the central business district in Beijing on 16 December 2021. (Greg BakerAFP)

China to prioritise economic stability ahead of CCP 20th Party Congress

While China’s economy grew about 8% in 2021, the GDP growth target for this year is expected to be a more modest “above 5%”, taking into consideration various easing measures by the central bank and political considerations heading into the 20th Party Congress in autumn this year. Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong gives her assessment.
Macau gambling junket tycoon Alvin Chau. (Internet/SPH)

Macau's 'junket mogul' and his unnerving name list of Chinese gamblers

Macau's police have arrested Alvin Chau, the chairman of the city's biggest casino junket operator, on allegations of illegally operating casinos and money laundering. Given that there are 80,000 customers of Chau’s network within mainland China, the bigger implication is that this group might include civil servants and employees of state-owned enterprises, who might end up being traced, given China’s crackdown on vice activities.
China's official app for digital yuan is seen on a mobile phone next to 100 RMB banknotes in this illustration picture taken on 16 October 2020. (Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo/Reuters)

China’s central bank digital currency has huge potential, but be careful of overregulation

Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) can potentially optimise and vastly improve the central bank’s monetary policy transmission with preset conditions to incorporate forward-looking and counter-cyclical features. This means that central banks can accurately control the amount, direction and intensity of liquidity or money supply flowing to the desired industries, thereby allowing industries to achieve an optimal level of production and reduce the risk of inflation or deflation. Earlier this year, China tracked and paid wages to builders in Xiong’an using its digital RMB, e-CNY. Is this a harbinger of things to come?
Pedestrians cross a traffic intersection near commercial buildings in Beijing, China, 25 August 2021. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Why China is setting up the Beijing Stock Exchange

With President Xi Jinping’s announcement of a new Beijing Stock Exchange, innovation-oriented SMEs will benefit and Beijing’s stock as a credible financial centre will also rise. Not only that, it is hoped that this will show China’s resolve to continue pursuing the market economy as it continues its push for “common prosperity”.
A picture illustration of the banknotes of the euro, HK dollar, US dollar, Japanese yen, British pound and Chinese yuan. (Jason Lee/File Photo/Reuters)

Escalating China-US confrontation will accelerate RMB internationalisation

Peking University PhD student Xiong Lan believes that as US-China tensions ratchet up from competition to confrontation, it is likely that the process of internationalising the renminbi (RMB) will be accelerated. The next ten years will be crucial, if China is to reach targets such as for the RMB to exceed 10% market share of international currencies by 2029 and account for 30% of global reserves in the long run. What obstacles stand in the way?
A sign indicating digital RMB is pictured on a vending machine at a subway station in Shanghai, China, 21 April 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

How China took the lead in the digital currency race

What’s the difference between virtual currency, digital currency, cryptocurrency, and e-money? In part 1 of his article on China’s digital currency ambitions, James Pang traces the development phases of China’s central bank digital currency DCEP amid a growing global appetite for central bank digital currencies. He also guides us through the jargon of the digital currency world.
A Chinese Yuan banknote is seen in front of displayed stock graph in this illustration taken on 7 May 2021. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

Will e-CNY spur the internationalisation of the RMB?

Academic Pei Sai Fan notes that China’s active promotion of the e-CNY has been closely linked to its ambitions of turning the RMB into a global trade and reserve currency. He says that the internationalisation of the RMB cannot be rushed. The more important thing for China to do now is to work on building its capabilities for crisis and risk management as well as gaining international support.