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Sensitive data removed from China central bank report on capital flows

Section: Daily Dispatches

Looks like the People's Bank of China has learned from the gold accounting fog used by the International Monetary Fund.

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By Zhou Xin and Wendy Wu
South China Morning Post, Hong Kong
Friday, February 19, 2016

Sensitive data is missing from a regular Chinese central bank report amid concerns about capital outflow as the economy slows and the yuan weakens.

Financial analysts say the sudden lack of clear information makes it hard for markets to assess the scale of capital flows out of China as well as the central bank's foreign exchange operations in the banking system.

Figures on the "position for forex purchase" are regularly published in the People’s Bank of China's monthly report on the "Sources and Uses of Credit Funds of Financial Institutions." The December reading in foreign currencies was US$250 billion.

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But the data was missing in the central bank's latest report. It seemed that the information had been merged into the "other items" category, whose January figure was US$243.9 billion, a surge from US$20.4 billion the previous month.

Another key item of potentially sensitive financial data was altered in the latest report.

The central bank also regularly publishes data on the forex purchase position in renminbi, which covers all financial institutions including the central bank. The December reading was 26.6 trillion yuan (HK$31.7 trillion).

But the January data gave information on forex purchases made only by the central bank, detailing the lower figure of 24.2 trillion yuan. ...

... For the remainder of the report:

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