经济学家:美元信贷枯竭对新兴市场构成重压
2016-03-10 08:45:26
经济学家:美元信贷枯竭对新兴市场构成重压(2016.03.10)

  提要:美元信贷周期对于新兴市场总体信贷周期有很强的影响。2015年,美元信贷周期走势已明显转向恶化。到3季度,新兴市场的美元信贷存量已停止上升,这是2009年以来的第一次。相比前几年,目前新兴市场获取美元信贷的难度已大大增加,本币信贷也是如此。国际金融研究所的数据显示,4季度新兴市场的银行信贷条件进一步收紧。虽然美元或许已经见顶,但新兴市场的偏紧金融环境很可能会持续下去。

  (外脑精华·北京)近期,原油价格有所回升,但石油公司仍在油价暴跌的打击中挣扎。墨西哥国有石油公司Pemex称其面临“流动性紧缺”(liquidity crunch)。马来西亚国有石油公司正在裁员。巴西石油巨头Petrobras近期获得了中国国开行提供的100亿美元贷款,用以偿还到期债券。这些石油公司的困境凸显了新兴市场的企业债难题。对自然资源企业而言,尤其令人担心的是,美元升值导致美元贷款的利息成本随之上升。在以往的新兴市场债务危机中,突出的难题往往在于,新兴市场必须在本币贬值的情况下偿还短期美元贷款,但近期的情况有所不同。

  新兴市场企业债数据令人吃惊。国际清算银行发布的数据显示,2008-2015年间,12个较大新兴经济体的企业债-GDP比率由60%左右升至100%以上。债务高速增长之后往往会出现GDP急剧减速。而且,以往几年之中,新兴市场大公司能够轻松发行美元债券。到2015年年中,新兴市场非银行机构(包括企业和政府)的美元贷款存量总额已达3.3万亿美元。事实上,直到最近,美国之外的美元信贷增长速度都远高于美国国内的信贷增速,而增速最高的就是新兴市场企业债。

  美元信贷周期是解释新兴市场经济疲软的关键因素

  国际清算银行行长海梅·卡鲁阿纳(Jaime Caruana)认为,全球流动性周期(即美国之外美元信贷的起伏周期)有助于解释新兴市场的经济减速、美元升值、以及突如其来的石油过剩。近几年,美联储通过“量化宽松”政策(缩写为QE)大规模买进美国国债,导致美元疲软以及全球流动性供应充足;这种情况下,美国之外的企业乐于借入美元贷款,因为其成本低于本币贷款。由于资本流入推升了新兴市场的资产价格(包括推动新兴市场货币升值),就更增强了美元债务的吸引力。

  只要美元疲软持续下去,那么新兴市场廉价信贷、资产价格升值、GDP强劲增长之间的反馈回路就会持续下去。然而,美元升值令这种反馈回路发生了逆转。2013年5月,美联储首次表示将逐渐退出“量化宽松”政策,这标志着美国货币政策的转变,美元也随之开始走强。2014年10月,美联储停止购买债券,为14个月之后的首次加息奠定了基础。美国货币政策的收紧打击了市场对非美元资产的风险承受度。

  美国货币政策的转变对美元汇率产生了重大影响,受影响最大的就是新兴市场货币的美元汇率。卡鲁阿纳指出,如果一国的外币债务过多,汇率就会成为一种金融放大器。企业努力偿还美元债务导致新兴市场资产价格下跌;企业削减投资、裁减员工导致GDP减速。这种情况导致新兴市场货币贬值,从而形成一种恶性循环,与经济繁荣期的良性循环正相反。由于很大一部分美元信贷流向石油业,因而石油企业为了偿还债务而全力生产以偿还债务,导致石油供应严重过剩。

  卡鲁阿纳论述的核心就是美元信贷。不过,美元信贷周期的转向并非新兴市场货币大跌的唯一重要原因。发达经济体之中,澳大利亚、加拿大和挪威等原材料出口国的货币也对美元大幅贬值。因此,对于原材料出口国而言,大宗商品价格暴跌导致的出口收入下降也是推动货币贬值的重要原因。

  有分析家认为,新兴市场的美元债务问题被夸大了。虽然智利和土耳其等国的美元债务规模较大(两国的国内美元债务-GDP比率都超过25%),但新兴市场美元企业债-GDP比率的平均值仅为10%。在3.3万亿美元的新兴市场非银行机构美元贷款总量中,中国企业占四分之一以上。资金管理公司Jan Dehn of Ashmore 集团称,8月份以来,随着担忧人民币贬值的情绪日益高涨,中国企业已逐渐将美元贷款转换为人民币贷款。

  在中国之外,新兴市场企业债中的很大一部分为长期债务,如2015年发行债券的平均期限超过10年。这就意味着近几年无需进行再融资,也就不会出现相应的违约风险。而且,很多企业的美元债务有美元收入的支撑。

  企业投机动机放大美元信贷周期的影响

  最近,由于市场担忧美国经济前景恶化以及怀疑美联储不会继续加息,因而美元已停止升值。不过,人们尚未完全认识到美元信贷周期的影响。国际清算银行Valentino Bruno和Hyun Song Shin对企业财务问题的研究表明,新兴市场企业的现金流状况越健康,就越有可能发行美元债券。此结论否定了公司财务理论中的一个信条,即企业内部资金耗尽之后才会考虑通过借贷来进行投资。Valentino Bruno和Hyun Song Shin的研究意味着,企业借贷存在冒险成分。平均而言,新兴市场企业所借美元债务的17%-22%会作为现金留在企业资产负债表中。这些流动资金可能进入银行账户、用来购买其它公司的商业票据或直接借给其它公司。换言之,企业会在一定程度上充当金融机构的角色。

  上述分析意味着,美元信贷周期对于新兴市场总体信贷周期有很强的影响。2015年,美元信贷周期走势已明显转向恶化。国际清算银行的数据显示,到3季度,新兴市场的美元信贷存量已停止上升,这是2009年以来的第一次。相比前几年,目前新兴市场获取美元信贷的难度已大大增加,本币信贷也是如此。国际金融研究所的数据显示,4季度新兴市场的银行信贷条件进一步收紧。虽然美元或许已经见顶,但新兴市场的偏紧金融环境很可能会持续下去。

  

  英文原文:Emerging-market debt

OIL PRICES have perked up a bit, but producers are still reeling from the slump in crude prices last year. The boss of Pemex, Mexico's state-owned oil firm, said this week that the company faced a "liquidity crunch". Malaysia's state oil firm is laying off workers. Petrobras, Brazil's troubled oil giant, recently secured a $10 billion loan from the China Development Bank to help it to pay off maturing bonds. The trouble at these firms underlines broader concerns about the burden of corporate debt in emerging markets. A particular worry for resources firms is the rising cost of servicing dollar debts taken out when the greenback was much weaker than it is now. Short-term dollar loans to be repaid with earnings in falling currencies featured prominently in past emerging-market crises. But the concern about the role of dollar lending in the current cycle is different.

The numbers are startling. Corporate debt in 12 biggish emerging markets rose from around 60% of GDP in 2008 to more than 100% in 2015, according to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Places that experience a rapid run-up in debt often subsequently endure a sharp slowdown in GDP (see article). An extra twist is that big emerging-market firms were for a while able to borrow freely in dollars. By the middle of last year, the stock of dollar loans to non-bank borrowers in emerging markets, including companies and government, had reached $3.3 trillion. Indeed until recently, dollar credit to borrowers outside America was growing much more quickly than to borrowers within it. The fastest increase of all was in corporate bonds issued by emerging-market firms.

Jaime Caruana, the head of the BIS, argues that a global liquidity cycle-the waxing and waning of dollar borrowing outside America-helps to explain the slowdown in emerging-market economies, the rise in the dollar’s value, and the sudden oil glut. When the dollar was weak and global liquidity was ample thanks to the purchase of Treasuries by the Federal Reserve (so-called “quantitative easing”, or QE), companies outside America were happy to borrow in dollars, because that was cheaper than borrowing in local currency. Capital inflows pushed up local asset prices, including currencies, making dollar debt seem even more affordable.

As long as the dollar remained weak, the feedback loop of cheap credit, rising asset prices and strong GDP growth could continue. But when the dollar started to strengthen, the loop reversed. The dollar's ascent is tied to a change in America's monetary policy which began in May 2013, when the Fed first hinted that it would phase out QE. When the Fed's bond-buying ended in October 2014, it paved the way for an interest-rate increase 14 months later. The tightening of monetary policy in America has reduced the appetite for financial risk-taking beyond its shores.

The impact of this minor shift on the value of the dollar has been remarkable, particularly against emerging-market currencies (see chart 1). Wherever there has been lots of borrowing in foreign currency, the exchange rate becomes a financial amplifier, notes Mr Caruana. As companies scramble to pay down their dollar debts, asset prices in emerging markets fall. Firms cut back on investment and shed employees. GDP falters. This drives emerging-market currencies down even further in a vicious cycle that mirrors the virtuous cycle during the boom. Since much of the credit went to oil firms, the result has been a supply glut, as producers pump crude at full tilt to earn dollars to pay down their debts.

Mr Caruana's reading of events has dollar borrowing at its centre. Yet the sell-off in emerging-market currencies has more to it. Rich countries that export raw materials, including Australia, Canada and Norway, have also seen their currencies plummet against the dollar. Falling export income as a consequence of much lower oil and commodity prices is likely to have played a similar role in the slump in other currencies.

Some analysts think the problem of dollar debt is blown out of proportion. There are countries, such as Chile and Turkey, where dollar debts loom large (see chart 2). But the average dollar share of corporate debt in emerging markets is just 10%. Chinese firms account for more than a quarter of the $3.3 trillion of dollar loans to emerging markets-and since August, when fears surged that the yuan would be devalued, they have been swapping dollar loans into yuan, notes Jan Dehn of Ashmore Group, a fund manager.

Much of the foreign-currency debt taken out by companies elsewhere was long-term: the average maturity of bonds issued last year was more than ten years, for instance. That pushes refinancing, and the associated risk of default, far into the future. In many cases, dollar debt is matched by dollar income-even if, as in the case of oil exporters, it is much diminished by low prices. And there are pots of dollars in emerging-market banks to which indebted companies may have recourse.

In any event, the dollar's ascent has stalled because of concerns about America's faltering economy and doubts that the Fed can raise interest rates again. Yet the cycle of dollar lending nevertheless has implications that may not be fully appreciated. A recent study of firm-level finances by Valentino Bruno and Hyun Song Shin of the BIS found that emerging-market firms with strong cash balances are more likely to issue dollar bonds. That goes against a tenet of corporate finance, that firms only borrow to invest once they have exhausted internal sources of funds. It suggests that financial risk-taking was the motivation for borrowing. On average, 17-22 cents of every dollar borrowed by an emerging-market company ends up as cash on the firm's balance-sheet. Such liquid funds could go into bank deposits, or be used to buy other firms' commercial paper or even to lend to them directly. In other words, the authors say, companies seem to be acting as surrogate financial firms. As a result, dollar borrowing spills over into easier credit conditions in domestic markets.

This is one of the ways the dollar-credit cycle exerts a strong influence over overall lending in emerging markets. The credit cycle took an apparently decisive turn last year. The stock of dollar credit to emerging markets stopped rising in the third quarter, says the BIS, the first stalling since 2009. Dollar credit is much harder to come by than it was. So are local-currency loans. Bank-lending conditions in emerging markets tightened further in the fourth quarter, according to the Institute for International Finance. The dollar may have peaked but, for emerging markets, tight financial conditions are likely to endure.

来源:经济学家

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