Credit Suisse expects 50 bps cut in China's first-half reserve requirement ratio

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The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at a branch office in Zurich, Switzerland, November 3, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd WIegmann/File Photo

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Jan 28 (Reuters) - Credit Suisse economists expect a further 50 basis point (bps) cut in China's reserve requirement ratio (RRR) in the first half of 2022, given the Asian economy is starting to ease policy while other countries are tightening.

China's central bank had last month cut RRR, or the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, releasing 1.2 trillion yuan ($188.77 billion) in long-term liquidity to bolster slowing economic growth amid persistent COVID-19 cases. read more

The average RRR for financial institutions stands at 8.4%, vice governor Liu Guoqiang said last week, adding that there was still room for the central bank to cut banks' RRR.

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Credit Suisse also raised its rating to 'overweight' on Chinese equities, from 'benchmark' earlier, with relative earnings revisions seen for the tech sector and wider market.

"We can see that excess liquidity in China is starting to improve (M1 relative to nominal GDP) and Chinese equities tend to perform as this happens," Credit Suisse economist Andrew Garthwaite said in a note dated Thursday.

The brokerage expects 5.9% GDP growth in 2022, higher than consensus prediction of 5.2%.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said it is likely to hike interest rates in March and reaffirmed plans to end its bond purchases that month in what U.S. central bank chief Jerome Powell pledged would be a sustained battle to tame inflation. read more

($1 = 6.3569 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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