Chinese banking sector bad debt rate rises as pandemic impact lingers

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BEIJING, October 21 (Reuters)China’s banking sector saw its bad debt ratio drop to 10.87% at the end of September against 1.86% three months earlier under the effect of the The COVID-19 pandemic persiststhe sector regulator said Thursday.

The expiration of loan relief policies, put in place last year to help businesses at the onset of the health crisis, also contributed to the increase.

The stock of non-performing loans in the banking sector stood at 3.6 trillion yuan ($ 562.63 billion), Wang Chaodi, head of the general office of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), told reporters in Beijing.

VSChinese banks “still face relatively strong pressure to see non-performing assets rebound and continue to be exposed to potential risks,” Wang said.

“Banks and insurers have continued to develop their risk prevention capacities, which are generally controllable,” he added.

Analysts have long believed that NPLs in China are much higher than officially reported, and recent signs of slowing economic growth could heighten the strain on heavily indebted companies, especially real estate developers.

The CBIRC will continue to urge banks to comply with regulatory requirements to gradually reduce the size of home loans and personal mortgages while providing sufficient financial support to first-time buyers, said Liu Zhongrui, an official in the housing finance department. regulator statistics.

The troubles of the debt-laden developer China Evergrande Group 3333.HK would not impact the entire real estate industry or the credibility of Chinese companies, as the country’s economic growth remains stable and on the rise, Liu added.

($ 1 = 6.3985 yuan Chinese renminbi)

(Reporting by Tina Qiao and Ryan Woo in Beijing, written by Zhang Yan; editing by Kim Coghill)

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