Lenders keep watch over softening rates

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 July, 2007, 12:00am

Hong Kong's interbank rates fell slightly yesterday after retail subscriptions for Fosun International's initial public offering ended, but lenders said rates still would remain high in the near term.

The one-week interbank rate retreated to 4.8 per cent from 5.05 per cent, while the overnight rate, which traded at 4.5 per cent or higher, closed at 3.875 per cent.

The one-month interbank rate fell to 4.53 per cent from 4.645 per cent and the three-month rate softened to 4.47 per cent from 4.515 per cent.

HSBC executive director Peter Wong Tung-shun said the high interbank rate was mainly a result of locked-up liquidity due to several initial public offerings.

'It there's no outflow of liquidity, I don't think there's any need for an interest rate adjustment,' he added.

Stanley Wong Yuan-fai, an executive director at ICBC (Asia), expected interbank rates to remain firm in the near term because more offerings would come on stream. Lenders might revise prime if the one- to three-month interbank rates stood at 4.5 per cent or higher for a while.