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Central bank denies rumors of RMB revaluation
Updated: 2004-02-09 13:48

China has no specific plans or timetable to reform its foreign exchange system, a central bank spokesman said Monday, denying a weekend report that the value of the Chinese yuan will be raised by 5 percent in March.

China Business Post reported Saturday that the yuan will be revalued next month. The central bank, or People's Bank of China, denied any such plans.

``This is the newspaper's opinion, it isn't a central bank decision,'' the spokesman for the People's Bank of China told Dow Jones Newswires.

``Currently the bank has no specific plans for renminbi changes. There is no timetable for renminbi reform,'' said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Renminbi, Chinese for ``people's money,'' is another name for the yuan.

China Business Post cited unnamed senior bankers Saturday, saying if the central bank decides to revalue the currency, it would probably happen next month.

After a 5 percent revaluation, one US dollar would buy 7.887 yuan, compared with 8.277 at the current exchange rate, the newspaper added.

The story said the value of the Chinese currency could rise by a further 5 percent in 2005.

Renminbi is pegged at about 8.28 yuan per U.S. dollar.  The current trading regime allows the yuan's value to fluctuate by 0.3 percent from its peg.

The People's Bank of China said in December that the country would keep a basically stable exchange rate as part of its monetary policy.

Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the Chinese central bank, also said in January that China is under less pressure to revalue the renminbi than it was early last year as its trade surplus with the rest of the world is growing at a slower rate than in the past.

Many foreign economists have, however, speculated that China would revalue its currency sometime this year. Goldman Sachs Group Inc said in a recent report that it expects an initial one-off renminbi revaluation of 2.5 percent against the US dollar in the first quarter of 2004.

The company also said it expects China to peg the renminbi to a basket of currencies instead of linking it directly to the greenback.

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