China bond defaults grow at record pace

Business | Bloomberg and Victor Zhong 13 May 2021

Onshore bond defaults in mainland China have hit nearly 100 billion yuan (HK$120.57 billion) so far in 2021, growing at the fastest pace on record.

Firms so far this year have failed to make payments on 99.8 billion yuan of onshore bonds, according to Bloomberg-compiled data. While 2021 is set to be the fourth straight year the 100 billion yuan level has been topped, it previously hadn't happened before September. For all of 2015, when China's stock market crashed, defaults totaled just 8.9 billion yuan.

Missed payments are running at a record pace this year, following the late 2020 defaults of some state-linked firms which affirmed convictions that authorities in China are increasingly willing to not bail out weak firms.

This came as China's new yuan-denominated loans totaled 1.47 trillion yuan in April, down 229.3 billion yuan year on year, the People's Bank of China announced.

In other news, the first-quarter commercial banks' net profits rose 2.4 percent year on year to 614.3 billion yuan, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission announced.

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