Did China diversify its foreign reserves?
Article first published online: 4 OCT 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Applied Econometrics
Volume 28, Issue 1, pages 102–125, January/February 2013
How to Cite
Sheng, L. (2013), Did China diversify its foreign reserves?. J. Appl. Econ., 28: 102–125. doi: 10.1002/jae.1268
- Issue published online: 21 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 4 OCT 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 19 JUN 2011
- Manuscript Received: 1 JAN 2010
This paper takes a novel approach to detect the latent currency portfolio of Chinese foreign exchange reserves and the underlying portfolio management strategies during 2000 and 2007. Based on a portfolio accounting identity and the budget constraint of the Chinese central bank's holding of foreign assets, the monthly growth rate of reserves can be decomposed into monthly rate of return, valuation effects of exchange rates, and monthly net purchase rate. The valuation effect reveals the value share of each currency. Bayesian inference is adopted to estimate the state-space model with a mixture of Gaussian distributions. The results show that China significantly and dramatically diversified its reserves out of the US dollar in 2002: both the euro's value and quantity shares increased from 5% to more than 20%. By the end of 2007, China held about (at most) 67.3% of its reserves in the US dollar, 22% in the euro, 2.5% in the Japanese yen, 4.7% in the Australian dollar, and 3.5% in the British pound. The average annual rate of return was about 3%. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.