BEIJING: China’s central bank injected 100 billion yuan ($14.5 billion) into the financial system through open market operations on Monday to offset impacts of maturing securities. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) made the injection through reverse repos. 14-day contracts with a yield of 2.5 percent, and 28-day agreements with a yield of 2.65 percent. Despite the cash injection, Monday will see a net drain of funds worth 90 billion yuan from the market due to maturing contracts worth 190 billion yuan.
The central bank has refrained from open market operations since Feb 4, citing a “relatively high level” of liquidity. Last week, the central bank allowed the withdrawal of 625 billion yuan from the market, draining some of the huge funds added ahead of the Lunar New Year. The restart of such operations comes with some 900 billion yuan of reverse repos set to mature this week, putting liquidity strain on the market. Last time the central bank conducted reverse repos, it raised the lending rates to banks by 10 basis points, a move that was widely interpreted as a shift towards a neutral monetary policy as economic fundamentals improved. China’s monetary policy in 2017 is set to be “prudent and neutral,” keeping appropriate liquidity levels and avoiding large injections.