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Reserve Bank announces further liquidity measures

The Reserve Bank today announced further measures to support the New Zealand debt markets and financial system liquidity, in response to the current financial market stress. Deputy Governor Grant Spencer said the measures are similar to actions taken by other central banks in the wake of the global financial market turmoil.

"Following a number of similar measures adopted earlier in the year, we are taking these steps to further enhance system liquidity and ease some of the current pressures on corporate sector funding," Mr Spencer said.

The new measures, most of which will take effect from 17 December, include the following:

  • Extension of the range of securities eligible for acceptance in the Reserve Bank's domestic liquidity operations to include:
    • Securities guaranteed by the New Zealand government;
    • Highly rated NZ corporate securities, denominated in NZD, with a long term credit rating of BBB- or better;
    • Highly rated NZ corporate securities, denominated in NZD, with a short term credit rating of A2, F2, P2 or better; and
    • NZD Asset Backed Securities rated AAA, A1+, F1+ or P1.
  • The current graduated ‘haircut' regime will apply for all securities eligible for domestic liquidity operations.
  • All issues will be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Mr Spencer noted that these liquidity measures did not mean the Reserve Bank would be lending direct to the corporate sector. However, corporate debt will become more liquid and therefore a more attractive investment prospect for banks and portfolio managers.

Mr Spencer emphasised that the measures had no implications for the Bank's monetary policy stance.

The changes are seen as temporary, to be kept in place while global markets remain unsettled.

Further details of the measures are available on the following pages:

Media contact:

Mike Hannah
Head of Communications
Ph 04 4713671, 021 497418, [email protected]