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By Han Wei / Dec 13, 2018 01:02 AM / Finance

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China’s top industrial policymaking body Wednesday encouraged healthy companies to borrow directly from investors by issuing bonds, opening an avenue for expanding business capital.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it will support companies with sound credit records and stable business operations to issue corporate bonds under certain conditions and with restrictions, according to a notice posted on the agency’s website.

Bond issuers can use as much as 50% of the funds raised to supplement operating capital, and the outstanding debt issuance should not exceed 40% of a company’s net asset, according to the notice.

However, companies are not allowed to use money raised from bond sales for lending, speculative securities investments or investments in sectors with excess capacity such as real estate.

In a supplementary document, the NDRC outlined criteria for bond issuers in different sectors. According to the criteria, property companies with more than 150 billion yuan ($21.8 billion) of assets, more than 30 billion yuan of annual revenue and debt ratios of less than 85% will be qualified to issue bonds. A Caixin calculation found that about 20 property firms meet such requirements.

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