China will not loosen its annual quota on banks' short-term foreign borrowings for 2011 due to rising pressure from speculative capital inflows, a senior regulatory official said on Saturday.
I think it's impossible to relax the quota given that we are facing high pressure on foreign exchange inflow, Guan Tao, a director at the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), told a forum.
We need to appropriately control any channels for excessive capital inflows, he said, adding that the SAFE has not set the quota for this year yet and he was expressing his personal views.
Guan did not specify whether the SAFE would keep the quota unchanged or cut it in 2011.
The regulator cut its short-term foreign debt quota for 2010 by 1.5 percent to counter hot money inflows, following a brief relaxation in 2009 during the global financial crisis.
Many economists view short-term foreign debt as an indicator of bets on yuan appreciation.
China's foreign debt is modest compared with its official foreign exchange reserve, which hit $2.85 trillion at the end of last year. The country's foreign debt stood at $514 billion at the end of June with the short-term amount at $344 billion.
Guan also said Chinese authorities started its latest round of investigations to track down speculative capital inflow in November.