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Is It Desirable for Asian Economies to Hold More Asian Assets in Their Foreign Exchange Reserves?—The People’s Republic of China’s Answer


  • Bin Zhang

    (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI))


We calculate the return on the major Asian currency denominated long-term government bonds in terms of a basket of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) imports of goods and services, namely the real return on those assets from the PRC’s perspective. In the sample period of January 2002 to December 2009, the real return on United States (US) treasury bills is lower than that of Japan, India, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, or Thailand’s government bonds, and a little higher than that of Malaysia’s government bonds. This result shows that it is desirable for the PRC to substitute Asian currency denominated government bonds for US Treasury bills to maintain the purchasing power of its foreign exchange reserves. To some extent, this research supports the proposal by Fan, Wang, and Huang (2010) on the cross holding of regional currencies in foreign exchange reserves.

Suggested Citation

  • Bin Zhang, 2011. "Is It Desirable for Asian Economies to Hold More Asian Assets in Their Foreign Exchange Reserves?—The People’s Republic of China’s Answer," Finance Working Papers 23230, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:financ:23230

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Patnaik, Ila & Shah, Ajay, 2010. "Why India Choked when Lehman Broke," India Policy Forum, National Council of Applied Economic Research, vol. 6(1), pages 39-72.
    2. AkIn, Cigdem & Kose, M. Ayhan, 2008. "Changing nature of North-South linkages: Stylized facts and explanations," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-28, February.
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    More about this item


    Foreign exhangce reserves; nominal and real returns; PRC; Currency denominated assets;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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