Latest forex data good news for policymakers

Updated: 2016-03-28 10:06

By Wang Yiqing(China Daily)

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At the end of February, China had $3.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, he said, adding that the $790 billion foreign exchange decline since June 2014 is affordable.

Guo Tianyong, head of the China Banking Research Center at the Central University of Finance and Economics, agreed that China's foreign exchange policy should consider more about its own situation rather than sticking to the Fed.

"As long as China's domestic economic growth stays sustainable and stable, which guarantees higher returns on invested capital than the global level, we don't have to worry about capital flight too much," he said.

But the Chinese authorities are considering new foreign exchange administration tools, in particular a Tobin tax, or currency transaction tax, to curb short-term currency speculation. Wang Yungui confirmed last week that the authorities are studying the possibility of launching a Tobin tax.

Nobel laureate James Tobin first put forward the idea of the tax in 1972. It is a levy on currency transactions that increases speculators' transaction costs and thereby discourages short-term speculation, which has been adopted by some Latin American countries.

Guo suggested the authorities be cautious in introducing a Tobin tax because the nature of the tax goes against the orientation of China's market-oriented reform.

"It should be imposed only when market fluctuations greatly threaten the government's ability to maintain stability on a macroeconomic level," he said.

Zhao said a Tobin tax will not be implemented anytime soon because it is a comprehensive institutional arrangement that requires a longtime process of research, consultation and implementation.

In addition, he said, any measure that aims to increase transaction costs should avoid negative effects on normal investment and trade or the openness of China's financial markets, which is directly related to internationalization of the renminbi.

Compared with a Tobin tax, it is better to make efforts to crack down on illegal capital outflows through foreign exchange supervision and monitoring, he added.

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