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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

China Increases Bank Reserve Requirements

by Calculated Risk on 1/12/2010 12:39:00 PM

From the Financial Times: China raises bank reserve requirements (ht James)

China on Tuesday increased the required amount of deposits banks must keep as reserves in the clearest signal yet that the central bank was trying to tighten monetary conditions amid mounting concerns of overheating and inflation as a result of the ongoing credit boom.
excerpted with permission
More from the WSJ: China Cuts Amount Banks Can Lend, in Sign of Inflation Worries
As it orders banks to lock up more cash, Beijing is demonstrating it is on guard against asset bubbles that can accompany inflation. The initial impact may be to knock back China's stock market, which gained 80% last year according to the Shanghai Composite Index. ...

A sharp spike in bank lending starting in late 2008 was the central element to Beijing's effort to escape the global financial crisis. The forceful policy may have worked too well, allowing companies to gorge on easy credit and speculate on properties and stocks.
That calls for a graph ...

Shanghai Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the Shanghai SSE Composite Index and the S&P 500 (in blue).

The SSE Composite Index closed at 3,273.97, up about 90% from the low in 2008.