Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

RMB may make SDR a better stabilizer

By Zhu Qiwen (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-19 07:56

RMB may make SDR a better stabilizer

An employee counts yuan banknotes at a bank in Huaibei, Anhui province.[Photo/Agencies]

The inclusion of the Chinese currency into the International Monetary Fund's basket of currency reserves looks imminent now.

Some domestic investors are very excited about the expected rise in overseas demand for the Chinese currency and assets that may help boost the stock market at home.

At the same time, some international media have played down the decision as being of token political importance because the IMF's Special Drawing Right assets remain little used other than as an accounting device.

Both views sound plausible.

But the first wishfully exaggerates the benefit of the Chinese currency acquiring the status of a global reserve currency and ignores the fact that it will also facilitate outflows of domestic capital.

China became a net capital exporter for the first time last year, and latest statistics show that China has made about 589.2 billion yuan ($95 billion) in non-financial investments in overseas markets in the first ten months of 2015, up 16.3 percent year-on-year.

As China is to roll out more investment projects under the Belt and Road Initiative in the coming years, and Chinese enterprises are becoming more eager to expand overseas as domestic profits wane, a better internationalized Chinese currency will definitely accelerate China's rise as the world's top capital exporter in coming years.

So while pinning their hopes on foreign demand for Chinese currency and assets, domestic investors should also prepare for the looming impact of a growing outflow of Chinese capital on the domestic stock market.

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