Shareholders in China’s rural commercial banks are selling off their stakes on a variety of loosely-regulated platforms, including online marketplace Taobao, The Financial Times reported. The sales follow the end to an official freeze on listings in Shanghai and Shenzhen that had helped prevent shareholders from divesting. The use of backdoor methods to cash out reflects growing urgency among shareholders to leave the sector in the face of mounting bad debt and shrinking returns, with the state-backed newspaper Securities Daily calling the marketing of rural commercial bank shares on the Beijing Equity Exchange a “clearance sale” of the deposit-taking institutions.
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