This Is Where China’s Outflows Went

China’s rush of capital outflows may not be a huge red flag, if you look at where the funds flowed.

Sleuthing by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), which acts as a bank for central banks, suggests a big chunk may have gone toward unwinding a once-faddish investment: Buying yuan, also known as the renminbi, offshore as a play on expectations the Chinese currency would continue to appreciate against the dollar as well as the mainland’s slightly higher interest rates amid a yield-starved world.

Expectations have now shifted toward renminbi depreciation, making holding the currency relatively unattractive. Of the around $175 billion decline in cross-border loans to China in the third quarter, nearly half came from offshore depositors backing out of the yuan, the BIS said, citing data from banks reporting to it.

While analysts have speculated that investors have been selling Chinese assets and sending the fund offshore, the BIS downplayed that as a source of outflows.

CNBC

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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA at OANDA
Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a market analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary. His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and SKY News. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.
Craig Erlam