China Defaulting Loans Soar

Discussion in 'Economics' started by 700express, Feb 6, 2010.


    China Defaulting Loans Soar, Insolvency Lawyer Says (Update1)

    By Shelley Smith

    Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Non-performing loans in China have risen into the “trillions of renminbi” because of poor lending practices, an insolvency lawyer said.

    “We work really closely with SASAC, the state-owned enterprise regulator in China, and there are literally trillions and trillions of renminbi of, frankly, defaulting loans already in China that no one is doing anything about,” Neil McDonald, a Hong Kong-based business restructuring and insolvency partner with Lovells LLP, said at an Asia-Pacific Loan Market Association conference yesterday. “At some point there’s going to be a reckoning for that.”

    China’s government is tightening controls, including banks’ reserve ratios, to prevent record lending from fueling inflation. The Shanghai office of the China Banking Regulatory Commission warned yesterday that a 10 percent fall in property values would treble the number of delinquent loans in the city. Liu Mingkang, chairman of the CBRC, said Jan. 4 that loans were channeled into stock and property speculation last year, which China has been taking measures to stop. CBRC’s press officer is not immediately available for comment today.

    Chinese banks issued a record 9.6 trillion yuan ($1.4 trillion) of new loans last year as part of a 4 trillion yuan stimulus package aimed at bolstering growth through the global financial crisis.

    “At some point in China, maybe it will be two, three or five years, but at some point there will be in the property markets and in the markets generally, there will be rationalization of very poor lending practices,” McDonald said during the panel discussion on restructuring and refinancing at the Global Loan Market Summit in Hong Kong.

    Bad Loan Ratio

    Over the past decade China’s government has spent more than $650 billion bailing out state banks after years of government- directed lending caused bad loans to balloon. The average non- performing loan ratio at Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., China Construction Bank Corp. and Bank of China Ltd. dropped to about 1.6 percent as of Sept. 30 from more than 20 percent before each bank was bailed out, according to earnings reports.

    New loans last year helped ignite a Chinese real-estate boom, with prices in 70 cities rising at the fastest pace in 18 months in December.

    Should property prices fall 10 percent in Shanghai, China’s second-most-expensive property market, the ratio of delinquent mortgages would almost triple for the city’s banks to 1.18 percent, according to the Shanghai branch of the CBRC yesterday, citing a stress test based on Sept. 30 figures. A 30 percent decline would cause the ratio to jump almost fivefold, the agency said.

    Fitch Ratings said Dec. 17 that Chinese banks’ capital strength is probably more “strained” than it appears as lenders use more off-balance sheet transactions to make room for loans.

    It was the first time the CBRC announced estimates for how much a property-market slump in Shanghai would hurt banks, underscoring the government’s concern that real-estate speculation may spur bad debts.

    The regulator reiterated that banks should monitor property loans more closely and curb lending to developers with weak capital.

    The State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission supervises and manages state-owned assets.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Shelley Smith in Hong Kong at
    Last Updated: February 5, 2010 04:25 EST
  2. Looks like there are going to be be some hangings coming up.