China Repo Jumps Most in Two Months on Bets PBOC Will Drain Cash

China’s benchmark money-market rate jumped the most in two months on speculation the central bank will drain funds from the financial system to cap property prices and inflation.

China may tighten monetary policy because of excessive market liquidity and rising real-estate prices, according to a front-page commentary written by reporter Ren Xiao in China Securities Journal today. The People’s Bank of China sold 5 billion yuan ($803 million) of 28-day repurchase contracts at a yield of 2.75 percent today, according to a trader at a primary dealer required to bid at the auctions.

“There is concern over tightening of policy,” said Wee-Khoon Chong, a Hong Kong-based strategist at Societe Generale SA. “But I don’t think the rise in money rates is sustainable.”

The seven-day repurchase rate, which measures interbank funding availability, rose 53 basis points, or 0.53 percentage point, to 3.83 percent in Shanghai, according to a weighted average compiled by the National Interbank Funding Center. That’s the biggest increase since Dec. 25. The rate reached 4.1 percent earlier, the highest level since Feb. 7.

China may manage liquidity in the first half by selling repos or reverse repos, the commentary said. Home sales in China’s 10 biggest cities almost quadrupled to 8.5 million square meters (91.5 million square feet) in the first five weeks from last year, property data and consulting firm China Real Estate Information Corp. said on Feb. 19.

The one-year interest-rate swap, the fixed cost needed to receive the floating seven-day repo rate, was little changed at 3.25 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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