China’s banks are set to be the biggest losers in the sweeping bailouts of the country’s steel and coal industries, according to the Financial Times. Local governments hoping to save their steel mills and coal miners have announced a series of restructuring plans, enlisting the banks to take the hit by improving the terms of the loans or swapping them for bonds or equity in the struggling groups. The reliance on the banking system to shoulder the burden comes at an inopportune moment, with China’s banks already mired in bad debt – about Rmb15tn ($2.25tn), or 19% of total commercial lending by some accounts. Profit growth at the banks has also fallen over the past two years.
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