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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," Macroeconomics Working Papers 23230, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:macroe:23230

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Willem Thorbecke, 2011. "How Elastic is East Asian Demand for Consumption Goods?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(5), pages 950-962, November.
    2. Thorbecke, Willem & Lamberte, Mario & Komoto, Ginalyn, 2010. "Promoting Learning and Industrial Upgrading in ASEAN Countries," ADBI Working Papers 250, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    3. Adams , Charles & Park, Donghyun, 2009. "Causes and Consequences of Global Imbalances: Perspective from Developing Asia," Asian Development Review, Asian Development Bank, vol. 26(1), pages 19-47.
    4. Ouyang, Alice Y. & Rajan, Ramkishen S. & Willett, Thomas D., 2010. "China as a reserve sink: The evidence from offset and sterilization coefficients," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 951-972, September.
    5. Ma, Guonan & McCauley, Robert N., 2011. "The evolving renminbi regime and implications for Asian currency stability," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 23-38, March.
    6. THORBECKE, Willem, 2009. "Can East Asia be an Engine of Growth for the World Economy?," Discussion papers 09006, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    7. Shujiro Urata & Toshiyuki Matsuura & Yuhong Wei, 2006. "International Intrafirm Transfer of Management Technology by Japanese Multinational Corporations," Discussion papers 06006, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    8. Guillaume Gaulier & Françoise Lemoine & Deniz Ünal, 2011. "China's Foreign Trade in the Perspective of a More Balanced Economic Growth," Working Papers 2011-03, CEPII research center.
    9. repec:cii:cepill:2010-307 is not listed on IDEAS
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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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