Chinese Companies are Defaulting on Their Debts at an ‘Unprecedented’ Level

An economic slowdown and extremely tight credit conditions pushed corporate debt to a record high in China last year, according to experts, CNBC reported. Defaults for Chinese corporate bonds — issued in both U.S. dollars and the Chinese yuan — soared last year, according to numbers from two banks. Yuan-denominated debt rose to an “unprecedented” 119.6 billion yuan ($17.8 billion) — four times more than 2017, according to a February report by Singapore bank DBS. Japanese bank Nomura’s estimates, provided to CNBC, were even higher, putting the size of defaults in onshore bonds — or yuan-denominated bonds — at 159.6 billion yuan ($23.8 billion) last year. That number is roughly four times more than its 2017 estimate. Offshore corporate dollar bonds, or U.S. dollar-denominated debt issued by Chinese companies, followed the same trend. Nomura said the amount of such debt rose to $7 billion in 2018, from none the year before. Read more