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Seems everyone has this wrong? All reserve requirements do is raise the cost of funds for the banks, not the quantity of funds they can loan.

Stephen Green’s thoughts on China:

CHINA RAISES BANKS’ RESERVE REQUIREMENT RATIO 50bps: This is a significant move. Rrr hikes require state council to sign off so this signals that sc is on board with mild tightening earlier than most (incl us) had factored in. This move now is significant too as its a first shot across the banks bows in a very aggresive loan month, esp as excess reserves in the system are are at relatively low levels (around 2pc we believe). Banks need 1-2pc for settlement needs so that means this move will bite. Pboc also probably calculated that they had to move now before we get into second half jan, early feb, before the chinese new year, when pboc has to inject liquidity (since firms and households withdarw cash for presents etc). Markets will be in a bit of shock with this move. The next move is another rrr hike in march as they withdraw post hoiliday liqudity and then we believe 2 rates hikes.

Tina Zhang