Mon, Mar 18, 2019 - Page 15 News List

Onshore yuan deposits decline 3.05%

LOSING INTEREST:The central bank said that deposits at DBUs fell because local life insurance companies and securities investment trust firms wired yuan abroad

By Chen Cheng-hui  /  Staff reporter

Onshore yuan-denominated deposits last month dropped for the fifth consecutive month to 281.403 billion yuan (US$41.9 billion), a 3.05 percent decline from a month earlier and the lowest in nearly five years, statistics released by the central bank on Friday showed.

The monthly decrease of 8.861 billion yuan from 290.264 billion yuan in January also marked the largest decline since local banks started accepting yuan deposits in 2013, an indication that investors have lost interest in the Chinese currency.

Onshore yuan deposits include those at local banks’ domestic banking units (DBUs) and those at offshore banking units (OBUs) in Taiwan.

The central bank’s statistics showed that yuan deposits at DBUs decreased 3.43 percent from the previous month to 248.731 billion yuan, while those in OBUs fell 0.1 percent to 32.672 billion yuan.

The central bank said the drop at DBUs was because local life insurance companies and securities investment trust firms wired yuan abroad for investment purposes, while Taiwanese companies converted to local currency after yuan-denominated time deposits matured, the Chinese-language Liberty Times (sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) reported on Saturday.

It also indicated that amid the persistent decline in deposit rates, yuan deposits have increasingly lost appeal as an investment tool compared with the stock market or other yuan-denominated investment options, the Liberty Times reported, citing the central bank.

Sunny Bank (陽信銀行) is offering the highest interest rate of 2.45 percent on one-month yuan time deposits, lower than the 2.86 percent provided one month earlier, central bank data showed.

While the interest rate for three-month to nine-month yuan time deposits remained unchanged at 3.1 percent at Jih Sun International Commercial Bank (日盛銀行) and Shanghai Commercial & Savings Bank (上海商銀), one-year time deposits at Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan (渣打台灣銀行) dropped by 0.12 percentage points from a month earlier to 3.38 percent, the data showed.

Yuan-denominated remittances for last month totaled 151.765 billion yuan, up 8.39 percent from a month earlier, with remittances through DBUs totaling 76.993 billion yuan, down 10.09 percent monthly, while those via OBUs were 74.772 billion yuan, up 37.47 percent, the data showed.

The higher yuan remittances through OBUs came as local electronics firms wired money to China to pay for purchases, while life insurance firms also wired yuan abroad to invest in overseas bonds, the central bank said.

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