China Banks Seek New Lending Horizons As Bad Debts Rise
Grappling with a slowing economy, China’s biggest banks are turning their back on mainstay borrowers like manufacturers and courting high growth industries such as healthcare, food and IT in a bid to boost revenue. The shift in focus by the state-owned lenders coincides with a spike in non-performing loans and slower profit growth as China’s vast factory sector flounders. For the first half of this year, the banks reported an increase in bad loans from the Yangtze delta, the country’s main export-focused manufacturing belt, as well as the Bohai industrial rim. China’s biggest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, also said 80 percent of new non-performing loans in the second quarter came from manufacturing and wholesale.
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