Garden in China

La Chine face au défi de la transparence

HONG KONG – Cet hiver l'économie chinoise est en proie à une grippe étonnamment sévère qui pourrait s'étendre à la plupart des marchés mondiaux. Au cours des deux premières semaines de 2016, l'indice composite de la Bourse de Shanghaï a chuté de 18%. Le 15 janvier il a clôturé à 2901 points, une valeur très proche de son minimum lors du crash boursier de l'été dernier. Presque tous les analystes étrangers prédisent un autre crash ou même un atterrissage brutal. Avec le prix du pétrole qui passe en dessous de 28 dollars le baril, se dresse maintenant le spectre d'une pandémie économique.

La chute des marchés financiers chinois en ce début d'année tient à plusieurs facteurs qui ont à voir notamment avec le manque de transparence et de clarté. On peut en citer d'eux : l'abandon de la tentative d'installation d'un "coupe-circuit boursier" qui loin de diminuer la volatilité, a suscité une nouvelle vague de reventes de titres, et, sans doute plus grave, l'incertitude qui s'est emparée des marchés quant au sens de variation du taux de change du yuan. Apparue après dix jours de dévaluation lente mais continue de la devise chinoise par rapport au dollar, elle a alimenté une fuite des capitaux jusqu'à l'intervention de la Banque populaire de Chine (BPC).

Selon cette dernière, cette situation a été déclenchée par une réforme de la procédure de fixation du taux de change du yuan : le remplacement du taux de change de référence habituel par rapport au dollar par un autre calculé sur la base d'un panier non publié de grandes devises internationales. Cette réforme visait peut-être à renforcer la stabilité du yuan, mais ce n'était pas une bonne nouvelle pour les marchés qui préfèrent la stabilité par rapport au dollar à l'incertitude d'un régime de flottement administré.

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