Caixin
Jan 16, 2023 06:16 PM
FINANCE

China’s Central Bank Puts to Bed Rumor About List of Quality Developers

What’s new: Chinese banks can determine which developers qualify for credit support under a new government plan to improve quality property firms’ balance sheets, a central bank official said.

The remarks are seen as a response to rumors that financial regulators have compiled a list of firms that qualify for the plan.

Authorities have drafted the plan with criteria for firms considered quality developers, but they have not made a specific list of such firms, Zou Lan, director of the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) monetary policy department, said at a Friday press briefing.

The PBOC and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission announced the plan last Tuesday, asking major banks to help resolve financial risks of developers deemed to be “leading” and “high-quality.”

The plan consists of policies that had been rolled out, and new measures to prop up the property sector such as setting up special loan programs for housing rentals, according to Zou.

Meanwhile, China will make adjustments to the “three red lines” policy introduced in 2020 to rein in excessive borrowing in the real estate sector, he said. The policy has contributed to the ongoing industry meltdown that was set off by liquidity shortages in mid-2021.

The background: Since 2022, the government has introduced a slew of measures, such as a 16-point plan unveiled in November, to rescue the real estate industry. Once a driver of China’s GDP growth, the property sector is still struggling to recover.

With these measures, regulators have been gradually relaxing curbs they put in place to curtail property firms from undergoing debt-fueled expansions. Beijing used to view excessive borrowing and speculation as posing risks to not only the real estate industry but also the financial system.

Related: Chinese Property Firms Left in the Dark About Who Can Qualify for Credit Support

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Zhang Yukun (yukunzhang@caixin.com) and editor Bertrand Teo (bertrandteo@caixin.com)

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