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China’s banking association to boost consortium loans

Updated: Dec 3,2018 3:35 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The aggregate consortium loans provided by Chinese banks have reached 6.97 trillion yuan (about $1 trillion) in the first half of 2018, up 8.87 percent from the end of last year, industry data showed.

The funds have mainly gone to shantytown renovation, construction of indemnificatory housing, transportation and warehousing, post industry, manufacturing, water conservancy, the environment and public utilities, according to data from the China Banking Association (CBA), a non-profit industry organization.

Pan Guangwei, vice president of CBA, said fairly good economic and social benefits had been achieved as the projects financed by consortium loans were all significant to the development of the real economy.

Compared to conventional loans extended by a single bank, syndicated loans are often led by large banks and enjoy the advantages of dispersing loan risks, reducing peer competition and encouraging profit-sharing among lenders.

Pan said that consortium loans have steadily expanded in recent years and were increasingly active in the market as an indispensable financial service shoring up China’s national economic development.

He advised domestic banks to become more involved in the service to jointly ease the financing difficulty of private enterprises, especially those engaged in overseas projects under the Belt and Road Initiative.

“Cross-border financing is relatively tougher for private enterprises as they know insufficiently about the market and legal environments as well as social and economic backgrounds of the host countries,” Pan said.

Through syndicated loans, banks could make full use of their advantages in different spheres, share information and jointly cope with the risks that may pop up in a foreign country, he said.

A big data information sharing platform may help banks to do cross-checks, share customer resources and boost financial innovations, he said, adding that the association was leading the implementation of a pilot mechanism on joint credit granting to facilitate consortium loans.

So far, the association has enlisted 443 enterprises to join in the experiment and have hundreds of cooperation agreements clinched among banks and enterprises.