Issuance of additional Exchange Fund Bills

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

     The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today (February 5) that additional Exchange Fund Bills will be offered in the tenders on February 19 and 26 and March 5, totaling HK$21,000 million, to meet the increased demand for the paper by banks given the abundance of liquidity in the banking system. The additional supply of short-dated Exchange Fund paper is designed to meet the strong demand for Exchange Fund paper by banks for liquidity management.

     The issuance of additional Exchange Fund paper will be conducted by expanding the supply of 3-month and 6-month Exchange Fund Bills. The 3-month Exchange Fund Bills to be tendered on February 19 and March 5 will be increased by a total of HK$12,000 million. In addition, a new issue of 6-month Exchange Fund Bills, with a size of HK$9,000 million, will be offered on February 26 and the issue will be rolled over upon maturity. Details can be found in the revised issuance schedule for Exchange Fund Bills and Notes (Annex).

     The increase in the supply of Exchange Fund Bills is consistent with Currency Board principles, since the additional issuance simply represents a change in the composition of the Monetary Base, with a shift from the Aggregate Balance to Exchange Fund paper. The Monetary Base remains fully backed by foreign exchange reserves. Interbank liquidity is expected to remain abundant after the issuance of additional Exchange Fund Bills, which is not expected to have a significant impact on liquidity conditions and interest rates.

     The Aggregate Balance is projected to decline by about HK$6,000 million on February 20 and March 6 respectively, and by about HK$9,000 million on February 27.

     The forecast change in the Aggregate Balance arising from the additional issuance of Exchange Fund paper is published on the HKMA website, the Reuters screen (HKMAOOC) and Bloomberg.

Ends/Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:29