China’s banks have begun raising billions of renminbi to fund debt-for-equity swaps at the country’s state-owned enterprises, amid questions over whether new investors will get a fair deal. The swap program, one of several tactics Beijing hopes will reduce China’s RMB 120 trillion ($18 trillion) mountain of corporate debt, could ultimately turn up to RMB 3 trillion of outstanding loans into equity, The Wall Street Journal reports. China Construction Bank, the country’s second-largest commercial bank, will manage up to 50 debt-for-equity swaps, using funds raised in part from new wealth management products (WMPs), which are sold to retail customers. Its first two funds will buy RMB 10 billion of bank loans owed by Yunnan Tin Group and RMB 24 billion of loans owed by Wuhan Iron & Steel Group.
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