China policy round-up: Trade talks deadline could be delayed, NDRC looks at bond defaults, Tianjin receives funding from BOC
In this round up, US president Donald Trump hinted at a potential delay of the March 1 deadline for a trade deal with China, the National Development and Reform Commission required its local units to zoom in on the potential for bond defaults and Bank of China (BOC) said it will lend Rmb300b to the Tianjin government.
With trade talks going on in Beijing this week, US president Donald Trump told reporters in Washington DC on Tuesday that the March 1 deadline can be extended if a real deal is close in sight.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) published a statement requiring its provincial units to inspect enterprise bond issuers’ ability to repay debts.
The key areas to pay attention to include use of proceeds and the operating conditions of any funded projects. For asset-backed securities, regulatory officials should pay close attention to the subsequent rating performance of a deal, as well the originators’ adherence to information disclosure policies, the NDRC said.
For riskier credits, provincial regulators should prepare plans with the issuers prior to the bonds’ maturity to ensure repayments are made. For those issuers who have already missed one or more payment, local NDRC units should communicate with the parties involved to together handle the consequences.
Annual randomised checks for all outstanding enterprise bonds regarding their use of the proceeds will also be carried out.
The statement came days after two large Chinese companies, China Minsheng Investment Group and Wintime Energy, missed payments.
Enterprise bonds are a type of corporate bond. They were previously restricted to companies with government links, but late last year the regulatory said property developers with a domestic AAA rating could also sell these bonds.
The Tianjin Municipal Government will obtain more than Rmb300bn ($44bn) of funds from BOC for general development purposes and another RMB100bn from the bank’s local branches for projects in the Binhai New Area.
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), along with four other ministries, published new guidelines designed to revitalise rural China.
In the short term, the central bank encouraged agricultural lenders to prioritise loans to poverty alleviation projects and to rural areas. In the longer term, the PBoC said it hopes to raise the growth rate of loans to rural areas by encouraging the use of technology and improving financial infrastructure in rural areas.
Foreign employees of domestic Chinese companies can now purchase shares through equity incentives plans, the PBoC and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) jointly announced on Wednesday.
Foreign workers are also free to choose whether to use their onshore income or transfer money from offshore to buy their companies’ shares.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission summoned experts and business leaders on Wednesday to discuss tentative rules for the incoming Shanghai tech board, a pilot program to test a registration-based IPO system in China.
Participants discussed the rules for listing, information disclosure, underwriting, and pricing. Caixin reported that topics such as the bar for investors to enter the market and duration of stock settlement cycle also came up.