The banking regulator has rejected a restructuring plan submitted by Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), the <i>South China Morning Post</i> reported, citing market sources. "It looked just like the restructuring plans of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Bank of China (BOC)," said a person familiar with the matter. "A bank like Agricultural Bank needs a different approach." ABC is the most troubled of the country's "Big Four" state-owned banks. It had US$90 billion of bad loans on its books at the end of last year equating to a non-performing loan ratio of 26%. It said the ratio fell 2.68 percentage points in the first nine months of this year but declined to state the new figure. Critics pointed out that the drop was due to an increase in lending as opposed to better risk management as new loans climbed 43% over the period. Regulators have considered breaking the bank up and listing the best parts or listing those areas of the bank that are not centred on government-mandated policy lending.
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