World’s Worst-Performing Bank Lent Billions to China Evergrande

It was once hailed as the future of Chinese banking, a privately run lender that would mint money by outmaneuvering its state-owned rivals, Bloomberg News reported. An ill-fated push into property lending has instead turned China Minsheng Banking Corp. into one of the biggest casualties of the real estate debt crisis that’s roiling Asia’s largest economy. Battered by mounting losses on loans to developers including China Evergrande Group, Minsheng’s stock tumbled 31% in the 12 months through last week -- the worst performance in the 155-member Bloomberg World Banks Index. Hedge funds and other short sellers are more bearish on the lender than any of its global peers. People familiar with Minsheng’s operations say the bank, founded in 1996 as China’s first non-state controlled lender, is now in damage control mode. It has restructured its real estate finance group to give more power to local branch managers, made reducing holdings of property debt a top priority for 2022 and plans to cut salaries for some staff by half, the people said, asking not to be named discussing private information. Read more.