Hoping to cool rising inflation, China's central bank will tighten credit by increasing the amount of deposits that weaker banks must set aside, but it ruled out yesterday any immediate hikes in lending or deposit rates. \nAdjustments announced Wednesday in reserve rate requirements and in the interest rates the central bank charges to some commercial institutions also are intended to rein in lending by weaker banks, whose mountains of bad loans are considered a source of financial instability. \nLocal analysts quoted in state-run media said they expect the new policies will have limited impact since they affect only some banks. \nThe monetary policy committee of the central bank, or People's Bank of China, ruled out any short-term increases in commercial bank lending and deposit rates in a statement released yesterday. It did, however, express concern about soaring lending. \n"The committee believes a stable monetary policy should be continuously implemented and the scale of lending should be properly brought under control," the statement said. \nOutstanding bank loans have grown by more than 20 percent from last year. Regulators fear that excessive lending by commercial banks is supporting booms in real estate development and in certain industries -- such as auto manufacturing, steel and aluminum -- that could lead to supply gluts and financial crisis. \nGiven the fast rate of growth in investment in construction and new factory equipment -- which in the first two months of this year surged 53 percent over last year -- inflation remains a threat, a report by analysts at Merrill Lynch said. \n"The new measures are unlikely to alter China's strong growth momentum and hence the looming inflationary pressure," the report said. \nRecent rises in food and fuel prices have pushed inflation to the highest levels in years. The consumer price index rose 2.1 percent in February, while wholesale prices jumped 3.5 percent. \nUnder the central bank's order Wednesday, banks not holding a minimum capital adequacy ratio of 8 percent must raise the percentage of deposits held as reserves to 7.5 percent from the current 7 percent. The change takes effect April 25. \nMost Chinese commercial banks fail to meet the 8 percent minimum requirement for capital adequacy -- expressed as a percentage of a bank's risk-weighted capital exposures. Those that do are not required to raise their reserves. \nIn a further measure aimed at curbing bank lending, the central bank said it was raising the rediscount rate -- what commercial banks pay the central bank in return for cashing in short-term commercial bills before maturity -- by 0.27 percentage point to 3.24 percent. \nA change in the reserve requirement is considered one of the most blunt instruments a central bank can use to control lending growth. Just six months ago, the reserve requirement for all commercial banks was raised to 7 percent from 6 percent.
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did