DEFINITION of 'Hong Kong Interbank Offer Rate - HIBOR'

An interest rate stated in Hong Kong dollars on the lending and borrowing between banks in the Hong Kong interbank market. The terms of the deposits vary from overnight to one year. The U.K. version, the London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR), is similar to the HIBOR. More than anything else, the HIBOR is a reference rate for lenders and borrowers that participate directly or indirectly in the Asian economy.

BREAKING DOWN 'Hong Kong Interbank Offer Rate - HIBOR'

The interbank market is used by banks for transferring funds and currency and managing liquidity. If a bank is nearing the point at which withdrawals are depleting short-term cash reserves, that bank will go into the Hong Kong interbank market and borrow money at the HIBOR.

For example, an interest rate swap involving two counterparties with good credit ratings, both of which have bonds issued in Hong Kong dollars, will likely be quoted in HIBOR plus a given percentage.

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