Goldman Warns That the Chinese Yuan Is Headed for Its Biggest Annual Decline in Over 20 Years

December 20, 2016, 8:43 AM UTC
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The accelerating outflow of capital from China is likely to coincide with the yuan’s sharpest annual depreciation in over two decades, warned Goldman Sachs.

According to Bloomberg, economists from the investment bank wrote Friday in a note that a net amount as high as $69.2 billion of money left the country in November. Steady departures of around $50 billion from the Chinese economy per month have been recorded since June, according to the note, while there has been a net outflow of capital via payments in yuan for 14 months in a row.

According to China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, the equivalent of $33.6 billion left the country through yuan payments in November, reports Bloomberg—compared with the $29 billion in dollar equivalent that had left in October via the same way.

China’s foreign exchange shrank from the equivalent of $555 billion last month, Bloomberg reports, citing data from the People’s Bank of China. According to the report, Goldman estimates that up to $1.1 trillion in foreign currency has left the Chinese economy since the officials devalued the yuan in August 2015.

Bloomberg reports that, as the year approaches to an end, the yuan as traded in the Shanghai market will have lost 6.5% of its value, the biggest annual decline since 1994. Last week, the yuan fell to its weakest position in more than eight years, according to Reuters, following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s announcement that it would raise interest rates at a faster pace.

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The country has reportedly been trying different measures to slow the outflow of capital by both legal and illegal means by heightening scrutiny over outbound transfers exceeding $5 million and external deals involving large amounts, reports Reuters.

Earlier this month, there were also conflicting reports of reported tightening on ATM withdrawal caps via UnionPay, the only Mainland Chinese bank card network, in the casino enclave of Macau.