Chinese market Anadolu Agency | getty images

L’Europe mise sur le renminbi

ROME/MADRID – Les Chinois ont de moins en moins confiance en leur monnaie nationale. Confrontée au ralentissement de la croissance économique du pays, la Banque populaire de Chine redouble actuellement d’efforts pour stabiliser le renminbi, usant de ses importantes réserves de devises étrangères pour appuyer son taux de change et endiguer la fuite des capitaux hors du pays. Bien que le gouverneur de la BPC, Zhou Xiaochuan, ne cesse de répéter que la situation n’est pas celle d’une dépréciation prolongée, peu de Chinois semblent l’entendre. Rien qu’au dernier trimestre 2015, les sorties nettes de capitaux se sont élevées à 367 milliards $.

Or, cet effondrement de la confiance au sein même de la Chine n’empêche pas les pays occidentaux – et notamment l’Europe – de miser toujours plus sur la monnaie chinoise. Lorsque le Fonds monétaire international a annoncé au mois de décembre que le renminbi allait rejoindre le dollar américain, la livre sterling, l’euro et le yen japonais au sein du panier de devises fondant son unité de compte, à savoir les droits de tirage spéciaux (DTS), la décision était clairement de nature politique.

Rare sont en effet les observateurs à considérer que le renminbi répond pleinement au critères imposés par le FMI pour une intégration au panier de devises composant les DTS. La monnaie chinoise n’est pas librement convertible, et n’offre qu’un accès limité, que ce soit depuis l’intérieur ou l’extérieur de la Chine. Les branches étrangères de certaines banques chinoises proposent des comptes de dépôt libellés en renminbi, et les investisseurs éligibles ont la possibilité d’acheter des instruments de dette arrimés à la monnaie de Chine continentale. Le volume en question est toutefois plafonné.

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