Taiwan’s central bank governor said on Monday that speculative foreign money started returning to Taiwan at the beginning of the year and is continuing to arrive, with money not yet invested in stocks at a higher than healthy level.
Taiwan’s central bank has long taken a strong stance against what it sees as destabilising “hot money” flows, repeatedly warning foreign investors that they must use money brought to the island for stock trading and not leave it uninvested or parked in other assets.
In response to questions from lawmakers at a parliamentary hearing, Governor Perng Fai-nan said that some T$170 billion ($5.8 billion) of foreign money had yet to be invested in stocks, but a level of T$120 billion would be “healthy.”
“There are about 6,000 foreign short-term investment accounts in Taiwan, but only about 20 are actively trading and most of the money is buying stocks,” Perng said.
“This money is like a big fish jumping into a small pond, creating volatility in the economy and financial markets.”
The central bank is keen to protect export-dependent economy from currency volatility and to prevent speculative money from creating asset bubbles. It frequently intervenes in the forex market.