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Composite Interest Rate: End of January 2011

The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority:

     The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today (February 17) the composite interest rate at the end of January 2011.*

     The composite interest rate, which is a measure of the average cost of funds of banks, decreased by 2 basis points to 0.19% at the end of January 2011, from 0.21% at the end of December 2010 (see Chart 1 in the Annex).  The decline in the composite interest rate in January 2011 reflected downward adjustments of weighted deposit rate and interbank rates (see Chart 2 in the Annex)**.

     The historical data of the composite interest rate from the end of the fourth quarter of 2003 to the end of January 2011 are available in the Monthly Statistical Bulletin on the HKMA website (  The next data release is scheduled for March 17, 2011 and will provide the composite interest rate at the end of February 2011.

*  The composite interest rate is a weighted average interest rate of all Hong Kong dollar interest bearing liabilities, which include deposits from customers, amounts due to banks, negotiable certificates of deposit and other debt instruments, and Hong Kong dollar non-interest bearing demand deposits on the books of banks.  Data from retail banks, which account for about 90% of the total customers' deposits in the banking sector, are used in the calculation.  It should be noted that the composite interest rate represents only average interest expenses.  There are various other costs involved in the making of a loan, such as operating costs (e.g. staff and rental expenses), credit cost and hedging cost, which are not covered by the composite interest rate.

** During January, HIBORs with maturities of one week or longer decreased by 3 to 12.6 basis points, while overnight HIBOR remained steady.

Ends/Thursday, February 17, 2011
Issued at HKT 17:59


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