The Foreign Exchange Exposure of Chinese Banks
Using the Capital Market Approach and equity-price data of 14 listed Chinese banks, this empirical study finds that there is a positive relationship between bank size and foreign-exchange exposure, which may reflect larger foreign-exchange operations and trading positions of larger Chinese banks, and their significant indirect foreign-exchange exposure arising from impacts of the renminbi exchange-rate movements on their customers. Empirical evidence also suggests that the average foreign-exchange exposures of state-owned and joint-stock commercial banks in China are higher than those of banks in Hong Kong, notwithstanding that their participation in international banking businesses is still limited compared with their Hong Kong counterparts. It is also found that negative foreign-exchange exposure is prevalent for larger Chinese banks, suggesting that an appreciation of the renminbi tends to reduce their equity values, and is therefore likely to hamper the banking sector¡¦s performance. Together with the fact that decreases in equity values generally imply higher default risk, how Chinese banks would be affected under different scenarios of renminbi appreciation should be closely monitored.
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