RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Taiwan

Taiwanese banks' yuan deposits hit 56-month low in January

It fell to $43.13b.

Taiwanese banks saw the lowest level of renminbi deposits in 56 months in January as worries from China’s economic slowdown heighten, reports The China Post.

Also readTrade tensions cut Taiwanese 2019 bank loan growth to 3.2%

According to data from the central bank, the balance of RMB deposits at Taiwanese banks including negotiable certificates of deposit (NCDs), fell 2.74% MoM by $1.22b (RMB8.18b) to $43.13b (RMB290.26b) as of end January. The headline figure represents the fourth consecutive month of decline and has been in its lowest since May 2014 when Taiwanese banks held RMB deposits of $43.36b (RMB290.08b).

Also read: Taiwanese banks clamp down on Chinese exposure in hunt for fatter margins

The exposure levels of Taiwanese banks to the Mainland have been on a gradual uptrend since 2010 however, the weakening yuan has reduced the level of exposure and boosted expectations it could fall further.

“Banks' China exposure has declined since the third quarter of 2018 after posting marginal growth in the first half of the year. We expect this conservative sentiment to remain unchanged throughout 2019,” according to an earlier report from S&P. 

The decrease in RMB deposits also reflected a move by Taiwanese electronics firms which operate production lines on the mainland to channel their Chinese currency to pay their employees year-end bonuses before the Lunar New Year holiday in February. RMB remittances in January grew 7.3% MoM to $20.93b (RMB140.02b), data from the central bank showed.

China’s gross domestic product (GDP) has seen its slowest YoY growth of 6.6% in 2018, with predictions that economy will further ease to 6.1% in Q1 2019.

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