Chinese securities brokerages could face higher risks of bad loans backed by pledged stocks, as borrowers are now subject to stricter limits in selling publicly-traded shares, Moody’s Investors Service warned. The popularity of stock-pledged loans is growing in China, especially among securities brokerages, Moody’s said in a report on Monday, Caixin reports. Among the 19 listed Chinese brokerages that Moody’s surveyed, the outstanding amount of stock-pledged loans reached 360 billion yuan ($52.9 billion), up sharply from around 44 billion yuan at the end of 2013. As of May, financial institutions in China were on the hook for 2.1 trillion yuan in loans that used publicly-traded shares as collateral. Of those loans, 55% were made by securities brokerages. However, new rules allow shareholders to sell no more than 2% of the company’s total shares every 90 days. That effectively caps the annual sale of shares through block trades to 8% of the company’s total shares for each seller.
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