Saturday, 16 August 2014

China’s Debt Soars To 250% Of GDP

But many analysts remain concerned about China's growing level of credit and the risks it poses to the country's economic health.

"People have been ignoring a lot of risks out of China; look at the property market, look at how fast bad debts have been showing up in the financial system," said David Cui, head of China equities at Bank of AmericaMerrill Lynch.

"Things have got so bad – it will probably take a financial crisis to cleanse the bad stuff out of the system – for the government to write off debt, to let banks raise more equity... and also severely reduce overcapacity," he added.

Earlier this year China experienced its first corporate credit default in 17 years sparking fears the incident could prompt a domino effect.

"I think there will be an avalanche of defaults coming out of the system. This is only the beginning," said Cui.

"The key issue is excessive capacity and overleverage when you combine these two factors it makes defaults almost inevitable," he added.

China's state auditor said in late December that local governments had outstanding debts of $3 trillion as of the end of June 2013, up 67 percent from the last audit in 2011.

Meanwhile country's corporate debt hit a record $12 trillion at the end of last year, Standard & Poor's estimated, equivalent to 120 percent of GDP.

China's debt to GDP level is still lower than other major world economies, however.

The U.S. had a total debt-to-GDP ratio of about 260 per cent by the end of last year, while the U.K.'s ratio was at 277 per cent. Japan topped the world table at 415 per cent, according to Standard Chartered.