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China maintained its benchmark loan prime rates for the 17 consecutive month, as widely expected.

The one-year loan prime rate was kept unchanged at 3.85 percent and the five-year LPR at 4.65 percent.

The one-year and five-year loan prime rates were last lowered in April 2020. The one-year loan prime rate was cut by 20 basis points and five-year rate by 10 basis points in April 2020.

Markets expected LPR rates to remain on hold as the People’s Bank of China had kept the rate on its medium-term lending facility unchanged early this month.

The loan prime rate is fixed monthly based on the submission of 18 banks, though Beijing has influence over the rate-setting. This lending rate replaced the central bank’s traditional benchmark lending rate in August 2019.

With the economy losing steam and concerns around the property sector growing, policy rate cuts by the PBoC could come as soon as next month, Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics.

The economist is expecting cuts to the PBoC’s policy rates, including the LPR starting next quarter.


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