Traditional rooftop architecture in China

La Chine et la grande évasion des capitaux

CAMBRIDGE – Depuis le début de l'année, la perspective d'une dévaluation massive du yuan plane sur les marchés mondiaux telle une épée de Damoclès. Aucune autre forme d'incertitude liée à un choix politique n'est aussi déstabilisante. La plupart des observateurs estiment que la Chine devra laisser son taux de change flotter librement au cours de la prochaine décennie. Du fait de la contradiction entre les impératifs politiques et économiques chinois, la question est de savoir quelle va être la gravité des problèmes qui vont se manifester dans l'intervalle.

Il peut sembler étrange qu'un pays qui connaissait un excédent commercial de plus de 600 milliards de dollars en 2015 doive se préoccuper de la faiblesse de sa monnaie. Mais une combinaison de facteurs - notamment le ralentissement de la croissance et la levée progressive des restrictions sur les investissements à l'étranger - a libéré un torrent de capitaux qui fuient le pays.

Les Chinois peuvent désormais transférer à l'étranger 50 000 dollars par an. Si seulement 5% des Chinois profitaient de cette autorisation, les réserves en devises étrangères de la Chine fondraient comme neige au soleil. Quant aux entreprises chinoises qui disposent d'importantes liquidités, elles utilisent toutes sortes de stratagèmes pour les faire sortir du pays. Une méthode parfaitement légale consiste à faire un prêt en yuan et à se faire rembourser en devises étrangères.

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