China targets leverage in bond markets
Crackdown on under-the-table transactions expected to improve transparency
China’s recently established interagency financial regulatory body has released new rules for bond trading, another move in Beijing’s push to reduce systemic risk in the country’s financial markets.
The new regulations target so-called “daichi,” or “pledged financing,” bond transactions, which are made through under-the-table and oral agreements. Under the rules, financial institutions will be required to report data to regulators if outstanding repurchase agreements (repos), or reverse repos exceed a certain level.
Industry analysts say the new rules are a strong signal that coordination between financial regulatory agencies is picking up steam, according to (link in Chinese) financial news outlet CN Stock, though the long-term effect on markets will be limited.
“As far as the markets are concerned, generally speaking this was not a big surprise,” head of fixed income for Fuguo Fund, Li Yuehua, was quoted as saying. “In the short-term it will hurt a bit.”
He added that as leverage is reduced, financial institutions’ main energy will be redirected to supporting the real economy.
Small and medium-sized institutions will feel the brunt of the impact from restrictions on transactions, Pheonix news reported (link in Chinese), citing industry sources.
Yields of China’s benchmark 10-year government bonds, which rose steadily last year, hovered close to a three-year high at near 4% on Thursday.