Since 2016, China’s financial authorities have been quietly pushing the banks to dispose of their bad loans more aggressively. The process has been incremental, but cumulatively meaningful. The measured pace at which Beijing is pursuing its debt cleanup could easily be misconstrued as timidity, a sign that China’s political leaders remain either uncommitted to dealing with the risk or unconvinced… READ MORE
At the end of 2017, China’s market for nonperforming loans (NPLs) was a bubble. Asset management corporations (AMCs) and investors were willing to pay huge price premiums for banks’ bad loans. The president of China Great Wall Asset Management Co., Zhou Liyao, attributed the bubble to a period of “irrational exuberance.” But a better explanation is that prices were inflated… READ MORE
On the face of it, China’s banks look remarkably robust. By international standards, China’s nonperforming loan (NPL) ratio is still incredibly low. After gradually rising since 2012, the NPL ratio peaked at 1.76% outstanding loans at the end of September 2016, before leveling off at 1.74% where it has remained ever since. At 1.74%, it is roughly in line with… READ MORE
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