October 10, 2016 / 7:51 AM / 10 months ago

China debt-to-equity swaps will not be free lunch for troubled firms - state planner

Beijing, Oct 10 (Reuters) - China's planned debt-to-equity swap programme will target high-quality companies that face temporary difficulties, a vice chair of China's state planner said in a news briefing on Monday.

Lian Weiliang, a vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) also added that so-called "zombie firms" will be strictly forbidden from conducting debt-to-equity swaps, while the authorities will not force banks to conduct the swaps.

The government will not be responsible for losses accrued during the debt-to-equity swap process and the market-oriented swaps will not be a free lunch for firms.

The NDRC earlier released a document ahead of the news conference in Beijing, pledging that China must take action to reduce high corporate debt. (Reporting by Kevin Yao and Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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