China just announced it is about to pull the rug out of the entire lending concept when it announces it is nullifying loan guarantees by all local governments. The total potential impact: $3.5 trillion smackers.
China plans to nullify all guarantees local governments have provided for loans taken by their financing vehicles as concerns about credit risks on such debt surges.
The Ministry of Finance will also ban all future guarantees by local governments and legislatures in rules that may be issued as soon as this month, Yan Qingmin, head of the banking regulator’s Shanghai branch, said in an interview. The ministry held meetings on the rules on Feb. 25 with regulators including the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the People’s Bank of China, Yan said March 5.
China’s local governments are raising funds through investment vehicles to circumvent regulations that prevent them from borrowing directly. A crackdown on local- government borrowing, estimated at about 24 trillion yuan ($3.5 trillion) by Northwestern University Professor Victor Shih, could trigger a “gigantic wave” of bad loans as projects are left without funding, Shih said this month.
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