China's $74b debt-equity swap will not save weaker firms

Despite Beijing’s funding support for companies, corporate bond defaults in China are expected to continue at a brisk pace this year.
PBOC deputy governor Pan Gongsheng: Defaults are good.
PBOC deputy governor Pan Gongsheng: Defaults are good.

Despite the Chinese government’s Rmb500 billion $73.9 billion debt-for-equity swap lifeline launched in the latter half of last year, a significant number of Chinese corporate bonds are expected to default this year. 

Seven corporate bonds totalling Rmb4.8 billion have already defaulted, according to Chinese financial information provider Wind. Last year saw a record 124 corporate bond defaults totalling Rmb120.56 billion - a large increase from the 35 corporate bond defaults in 2017 totalling Rmb33.75 billion.

Bond issuance from private Chinese firms soared 70% year-on-year in November and December last year. Zhu Hexin, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China PBOC,...

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