back
Details Cookies
Cookie policy

This website uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience by enabling, optimising and analysing site operations, as well as to provide personalised ad content and allow you to connect to social media. By choosing “Accept all” you consent to the use of cookies and the related processing of personal data. Select “Manage consent” to manage your consent preferences. You can change your preferences or retract your consent at any time via the cookie policy page. Please view our cookie policy here and our privacy policy here

China’s new digital currency inspires tectonic shift in capital flows

Steen Jakobsen
Chief Investment Officer

Summary:  China opens up its capital account, giving foreign investors full access for the first time.

See previous 2021 prediction

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) rolled out an advanced digital currency experiment in October 2020. The Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) will be a blockchain-based digital version of the Yuan (CNY). In 2019, 80% of all payments in China were through electronic payment via WeChat Pay and AliPay. The PBOC wants to take this one step further and in the process improve the efficacy of monetary and fiscal policy through an increasingly cashless society and with a goal of enhancing financial inclusiveness.

The next natural step for China’s digital currency would be as an aid in opening up the country’s capital account, which is currently severely restricted, making the CNY essentially unavailable to anyone outside of mainland China. Allowing full access for foreigners into Chinese capital markets will reduce the main barrier of concern for foreign investors for using the CNY in trade and investment: its liquidity and direct access to their investments inside China. Meanwhile, the stability of the Chinese currency and the built-in traceability and oversight that blockchain tech enables would virtually eliminate the risk of capital flight or illegal transfers out of China.

This idea sits well inside China’s Dual Circulation framework, improving transparency within China, while growing the CNY’s use externally as a compelling alternative to the US dollar in transactions, avoiding the latter’s weaponisation by the US. As a government-sponsored centralised currency, it will still be viewed as “fiat currency” and won’t have the appeal of decentralised blockchain-based currencies like Bitcoin; but from China’s perspective this is a feature of the digital Yuan and not a bug, as it allows negative rates for “cash”, and nominal GDP targeting is far easier to achieve as well.

Opening up China’s capital account and creating a currency that rivals the US dollar for reserve status will help boost Chinese consumption, fund an entirely new Chinese pension system and deepen the country’s capital markets.

Trade: Short the US dollar and overweight Chinese government bonds and equities versus the rest of the world.

See next 2021 prediction:
Revolutionary fusion design catapults humanity into energy abundance 

Disclaimer

The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service and access to Analysis permitting a person to view and/or use content available on or via the website is not intended to and does not change or expand on this. Such access and use are at all times subject to (i) The Terms of Use; (ii) Full Disclaimer; (iii) The Risk Warning; (iv) the Rules of Engagement and (v) Notices applying to Saxo News & Research and/or its content in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of hyperlinks on the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group by which access to Saxo News & Research is gained. Such content is therefore provided as no more than information. In particular no advice is intended to be provided or to be relied on as provided nor endorsed by any Saxo Bank Group entity; nor is it to be construed as solicitation or an incentive provided to subscribe for or sell or purchase any financial instrument. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. As such no Saxo Bank Group entity will have or be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information which is available on Saxo News & Research or as a result of the use of the Saxo News & Research. Orders given and trades effected are deemed intended to be given or effected for the account of the customer with the Saxo Bank Group entity operating in the jurisdiction in which the customer resides and/or with whom the customer opened and maintains his/her trading account. Saxo News & Research does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Bank Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication under relevant laws.

Please read our disclaimers:
- Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (https://www.home.saxo/legal/niird/notification)
- Full disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/legal/disclaimer/saxo-disclaimer)
- Full disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/en-mena/legal/disclaimer/saxo-disclaimer)

Trade responsibly
All trading carries risk. Read more. To help you understand the risks involved we have put together a series of Key Information Documents (KIDs) highlighting the risks and rewards related to each product. Read more

Saxo Bank A/S is licensed by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority and operates in the UAE under a representative office license issued by the Central bank of the UAE.

The content and material made available on this website and the linked sites are provided by Saxo Bank A/S. It is the sole responsibility of the recipient to ascertain the terms of and comply with any local laws or regulation to which they are subject.

The UAE Representative Office of Saxo Bank A/S markets the Saxo Bank A/S trading platform and the products offered by Saxo Bank A/S.