Oaktree struggles to capitalise on China distress

Despite a partnership with China Cinda, the distressed debt investor is finding it hard to put money to work in Chinese NPLs, reveals Oaktree Capital co-founder Howard Marks.

Debt distress is on the rise in China as the world’s second-largest economy slows but it’s been tough going so far buying assets on the cheap, Howard Marks, co-chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital, said on Thursday.

Almost two years after sealing a partnership with China Cinda Asset Management, one of China’s so-called bad banks, and earmarking $1 billion for distressed debt purchases, the joint venture has yet to make an investment.

Behind that failure so far to put money to work are a number of factors the rarity of defaults in China where the avoidance of social distress remains a relatively high...

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