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Hong Kong Interbank Rates Spike To Highest Since Lehman

Hong Kong Interbank Rates Spike To Highest Since Lehman

For only the third time since Lehman, the price of liquidity in the Hong Kong Dollar interbank markets has exploded higher.

Overnight HKD Hibor soared over 60 basis points to 0.71407% in Monday trading – the highest since October 2008…

Note that the two previous spikes were around year-end, so this is unusual in both its velocity and size.

Of course, the narrative of a panic in Asian liquidity is not a good one for supporting risk assets and so the spike is being dismissed as a one-off due to several factors (as Bloomberg reports)…

Monday’s rise in Hong Kong dollar overnight interbank rate was due to major fund providers being more cautious in lending at month-end, and because of demand from some market players, a Hong Kong Monetary Authority spokesperson writes in an emailed reply to questions from Bloomberg. Interest rates subsided when fund providers responded by lending out more Hong Kong dollars. Relatively large movements in short- dated interest rate Monday was probably a result of thin market conditions ahead of the month-end. The market continued to function normally.

Monday’s sudden spike in HKD overnight funding cost is probably due to short-term funding activities, likely for I Squared Capital’s purchase of Hutchison Telecom’s unit and HSBC share buyback announcement, says Angus To, deputy head of research at ICBC International Research.

Rate likely to drop soon as HKD liquidity remains ample in general, To says in a phone call.

So just ignore the fact that the HKD liquidty markets just exploded due to month-end (well it hasn’t before – see chart) and some M&A (there’s been no M&A in the last 9 years?)… it’s probably nothing.

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