As of today, China’s one-year benchmark lending rate is 6.93%, down 0.27 percentage points from 7.20%. The one-year deposit rate has fallen 0.27 percentage points to 3.87% from 4.14%. The number 0.27 is divisible by nine – as is always the case with adjustments to Chinese interest rates. This is done to make it easier for lenders, who work a 360-day banking year, to calculate interest. Remember it wasn’t too long ago that the bank teller in a small provincial branch would have nothing more than an abacus at his or her disposal.
I have read countless stories on interest rate hikes and I believe the “increments of nine” thinking has appeared on my radar before. But I still get that slightly geeky, “well, I never…” feeling.