Monday, 21 March 2016

China's rising debt levels pose macroeconomic risk

China has temporarily ceased to be a focus of concern for most global investors but the problem with its debt-laden economy remains. From Bloomberg:

Not since 1999 have China’s companies had so much trouble getting customers to actually pay for what they’ve bought.

It now takes about 83 days for the typical Chinese firm to collect cash for completed sales, almost twice as long as emerging-market peers. As payment delays spread from the industrial sector to technology and consumer companies, accounts receivable at the nation’s public firms have swelled by 23 percent over the past two years to about $590 billion, exceeding the annual economic output of Taiwan.

At least some of China's policy-makers are aware of the risks. Again from Bloomberg:

People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan sounded a warning over rising debt levels...

“Lending as a share of GDP, especially corporate lending as a share of GDP, is too high,” Zhou said. He said a high leverage ratio is more prone to macroeconomic risk.

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