China allows trusts, insurers into interbank market

By (Bloomberg)
Updated: 2007-07-09 16:17

China will allow trust companies, financial leasing firms and insurers to borrow from each other for the first time, as it seeks to develop an interbank market where trading surged 10-fold over the past decade.

Special coverage:
Markets Watch

Related readings:
 China's 6 financial markets taking shape
 ChemChina issues 1st SHIBOR-based bonds
 A new system for interbank lending

Auto financing firms and insurance asset management units will also be allowed in the interbank market, effective August 6, the People's Bank of China said in a statement on its Web site.

China established the interbank lending market in 1996 and by the end of last year, it had 730 members, including domestic and foreign banks as well as securities firms. Trading totaled 2.15 trillion yuan ($283 billion) in 2006.

Banks can borrow for as long as one year while leasing and insurers can borrow for up to three months. For brokerages and trust companies, the limit is seven days, according to today's statement.

The central bank in January started publishing a new benchmark rate for borrowing between banks, known as the Shanghai interbank offered rate, or Shibor, moving toward a more market-driven financial system.

China has been relaxing controls on interest rates as part of efforts to develop its capital markets and reduce reliance on administrative edicts to manage the economy.

(For more biz stories, please visit Industry Updates)