星期二, 5月 24, 2005

Strengthening the currency board system --- HKMA responds to U.S. interest rate rise

The Monetary Authority(MA) is modifying the HK$'s currency peg. A ceiling of 7.75 to the US $ will be assured, with a lower limit of 7.85 to ensure symmetry, phased in over a five-week period start from this Monday.

I think this action will remove uncertainty of the extent to which the exchange rate may strengthen. It may lead to reduce the use of the HK$ as a vehicle by speculators speculating on revaluation of the Chinese Renminbi (Renmin Yuan).

However, following the MA's decision of widening the trading band for HK$ and consequent outflow of "hot money" from HK was the announcement by the local leading banks of 0.5% rise in interest prime rate.

The immediate effect of such move was that the gap of interest discrepancy between HK and US was narrowed. Some economists said the move could strengthen the operation of the currency board system through the normal operation of foreign exchange markets.

Off course, I observe that the move probably leads to the cooling of the property market immediately and the inflationary spiral will be checked. Can you see why?

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