SHANGHAI, Sept 29 (Reuters) - The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) , China’s largest bank, has successfully issued 1.077 billion yuan ($161.46 million) of non-performing asset-backed securities, the bank said in a media release.
The sale was oversubscribed, the bank said, without giving further details.
Bad loans have been rising rapidly at Chinese banks as the economy has slowed, and repackaging them in asset-backed securities (ABS) for resale has been one solution proposed by regulators.
The issuance marked the first this year by ICBC, following earlier issues this year by the Agricultural Bank of China , China Merchants Bank and Bank of China .
The non-performing loan ratio in China’s commercial banking sector was 1.81 percent at the end of the first half of 2016, up from 1.75 percent in March, China’s banking regulator said in July.
Non-performing loans at Chinese commercial banks had hit an 11-year-high of 1.4 trillion yuan in March.
Many analysts have long suspected that real levels of bad loans in China are much higher than official data and banks’ earnings reports suggest.
This year’s largest ABS issuance was by the Agricultural Bank of China at 3.1 billion yuan in July. ($1 = 6.6704 Chinese yuan) (Reporting By Nathaniel Taplin; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)