BEIJING Dec 26 Industrial and Commercial Bank
of China (ICBC) has signed three
debt-for-equity swaps with Shanxi province's highly indebted
state-owned coal and steel firms, the bank said late on Monday.
China's biggest lender ICBC has agreed to invest in Taiyuan
Iron & Steel (Group), Datong Coal Mine Group
and Yangquan Coal Industry (Group) to swap
their existing debt and reduce their corporate leverage, the
Heavy industries such as coal and steel have languished as
China relies increasingly on higher-end technology and
consumption for economic growth and seeks to shut
underperforming mines and plants.
China's northern province of Shanxi is its biggest coal
producing region. Shanxi produced 944.1 million tonnes of coal
last year, amounting to 25.6 percent of the national total.
The total value of three debt-for-equity swaps was 30
billion yuan ($4.3 billion), which will cut the three firms'
leverage by as much as 10 percent, state-run local media Shanxi
Youth Finance said in a report released on its social media
ICBC didn't confirm that total when contacted by Reuters.
($1 = 6.9485 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Shu Zhang and Matthew Miller; Editing by Ruth