Opinion

外國投資者可能會放緩在中國債券市場的步伐

總體而言,誘人的息差縮小和信貸風險的上升可能會削弱此前中國債券的優勢。儘管中國仍在推動債券市場多元化,但越來越多的中國企業被實施制裁對2021年來說並不是個好兆頭。

By: Date: March 3, 2021 Topic: Global Economics & Governance

This opinion piece was originally published on etnet.

 

近年來中國債券市場迅猛增長,甚至一度超過經濟增速,因此2020年外國投資者對中國債券的興趣更加濃厚也就不足為奇了。新冠疫情席捲全球經濟,息差擴大和似乎免受信貸風險升高干擾等因素吸引著海外投資者將大量資金投入中國債券。

外資持有的中國在岸債券增速從2020年9月的2.96%上升至2020年12月的3.2%,其中大部分是政府或政策性銀行債券。雖然占總體比重不高,但外國投資者興趣上升仍然能夠說明,儘管地緣政治化境充滿挑戰,中國在吸引外資方面仍然取得了一定成功。展望未來,對於地方政府、企業和銀行債券來說,保持這種勢頭十分重要,不僅在於資金流入,同時也要降低政府和企業債券(尤其是民企)之間較高的信用息差。2020年由於流動性和資本需求充沛,銀行和其他金融機構的淨發行額較高。地方政府及其融資平台也有所增長,反映出其在推動基建以刺激經濟復甦過程中的重要作用。

中國政府計畫簡化外國債券投資者的投資流程,並開放新的投資管道(如“債券通”),這也讓海外投資者的投資更加容易。同時,中國債券納入三大全球指數(彭博、摩根大通和富時羅素)也有助於吸引資本流入。在過去幾年中,針對企業債券的監管也得到了加強。中國的債券市場也為投資者提供了多元化的選擇。隨著資產與國內狀況的聯繫更加緊密,並且外資參與程度相對於中國的經濟規模仍然較低,因此外資仍有繼續流入的空間。

違約率升高
不過,中國債券市場正面臨結構性挑戰。在全球疫情蔓延的環境下,儘管中國經濟正在復甦,但企業償債壓力加劇,債券違約率雖然基數較低,但正在快速上升。此次趨勢與以往的不同之處在於,國有企業成為債券違約的主要來源,並且自2019年以來,一些評級較高的國企遭遇了償還困難。

2018年以來的中美貿易戰和2020年新冠疫情的衝擊明顯加劇了這種惡化。地方政府的財政狀況原本在過去幾年就有所惡化,隨著疫情衝擊可能更加嚴重。換言之,更多債券違約的背後是地方政府債務和財政赤字的逐漸升高。

儘管在岸和離岸債券的總體情緒持續改善,但對違約的擔憂依然存在,並且可能會成為2021年的主要問題 – 不過主要集中在特定的行業和企業。加之中國在岸債券發行放緩,以及美國國債收益率自2020年12月以來出現反彈,2021年中國債券市場對外國投資者的吸引力可能出現下降。此外,人民幣對美元2020年升值較快,因此接下來進一步升值的空間將會縮小。

總體而言,誘人的息差縮小和信貸風險的上升可能會削弱此前中國債券的優勢。儘管中國仍在推動債券市場多元化,但越來越多的中國企業被實施制裁對2021年來說並不是個好兆頭。


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