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China's CCB signs $4.3 billion of debt/equity swaps with coal, steel firms
December 29, 2016 / 8:59 AM / a year ago

China's CCB signs $4.3 billion of debt/equity swaps with coal, steel firms

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China Construction Bank Corp (CCB) has signed around 30 billion yuan ($4.31 billion) worth of debt-for-equity swaps with eastern Anhui province’s state-owned coal and steel firms, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Wednesday.

A customer waits at a counter of a branch of China Construction Bank Corp (CCB) at its headquarters in Beijing, China, March 31, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

Since China’s policymakers re-launched the debt-for-equity scheme in October to ease the borrowing overhang of its struggling firms, the country’s banks have rushed to sign deals with state-owned enterprises to ease their burden.

The country’s second biggest lender CCB has signed a 30 billion yuan debt-for-equity framework agreement with Huainan Mining Industry (Group) Co, Huaibei Mining Group and Magang (Group) Holding, the parent company of Maanshan Iron & Steel Co, to reduce leverage and increase profits, said Xinhua.

CCB also agreed to provide Huainan Mining, Huaibei Mining and Wanbei Coal-Electricity Group with more than 30 billion yuan worth of credit within the next 5 years, together with comprehensive financial services that include investment banking and settlement services among other things, said Xinhua.

CCB, Huainan Mining, Huaibei Mining, Wanbei Coal-Electricity Group and Magang (Group) Holding were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters.

The deal follows a CCB $739 million debt-for-equity swap with Xiamen CCRE in November.

Heavy industries such as coal and steel are suffering from over-capcity as China has switched its economic growth strategy to depend more on higher-end technology and consumption.

On Monday, the country’s largest lender Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) signed three debt-for-equity swaps with Shanxi province’s highly indebted state-owned coal and steel firms.

($1 = 6.9485 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Engen Tham in Shanghai and Shu Zhang in Beijing; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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