Finally, even if China manages to crackdown on Shadow Banking there is another problem: as a recent report by Natixis put it perfectly, "when one [credit] door closes [in China], another one opens up." This simply means that as Beijing slams the door shut on Trust and other key shadow debt components, these will be offset by an increased usage in others such as WMPs, NBFIs, Repos, Negotiatable Certificates of Deposit, and money markets. Below are the highlights from the report:
As deleverage becomes a higher level objective (but sometimes conflicting) to the Chinese leadership, banks now face more restrictions from regulators. In any event, this is not the first time they find themselves in the regulatory whirlpool. From the usage of repo agreements to wealth management products (WMPs), and most recently negotiable certificate of deposits (NCDs), banks have been very creative in playing the cat and mouse game in front of evolving regulations.
Flourishing financial innovation has helped China’s leverage process to continue unabated. The deleveraging process has hardly begun. In contrast, liquidity seems to be increasingly scarce, which keeps on lifting the cost of funding. In fact, overnight SHIBOR is at record high since the difficult events in 2015, very close to 3% (Chart 1). One of the key reasons for the liquidity shortage is related to tighter regulatory control from the People's Bank of China (PBoC), in particular stricter Macro Prudential Assessment (MPA). This has hampered the use of WMPs to fund banks’ asset growth. They have already shrunk by 1.6 RMB trillion to 28.4 RMB trillion in May 2017 (Chart 2)
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