Bad loans on the rise

Commercial banks’ non-performing loans (NPL) rose by RMB183bn in Q2, the biggest increase in over a decade. On paper, bad loans now make up just under 2% of all loans, the highest ratio since the Global Financial Crisis. The official NPL ratio still looks implausibly low but the latest rise does suggest, alongside a recent jump in corporate bond defaults, that slowing growth is putting strain on corporate balance sheets. What’s more, the NPL ratio would have risen by a wider margin if banks hadn’t stepped up their efforts to offload their bad loans. NPL securitisation has led to a jump in banks’ issuance of asset-backed securities recently and new data made available by the People’s Bank this week show that banks have written-off RMB1.2tn worth of NPLs since the start of 2017, more than 1.1% of current outstanding loans.
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China Economics Weekly

Year-end policy bash to strike a more dovish tone

The upcoming Central Economic Work Conference in Beijing is likely to signal that policy is turning more supportive. But loosening will be measured, and growth over coming quarters will still slow.

3 December 2021

China Data Response

China Caixin Manufacturing PMI (Nov.)

The Caixin manufacturing index published today slipped under 50 last month on the back of softer domestic demand. This contrasts with the official survey released yesterday. Taken together, the surveys still suggest that industrial output rebounded in November as power shortages abated. And they also point to easing factory-gate price pressures. Drop-In: Why is Asia sitting out the global inflation surge? 09:00 GMT/17:00 HKT, Thursday 2nd December https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/3546145/A9D34EF592141BEFCAC819ADB40359D5?partnerref=report

1 December 2021

China Data Response

China Official PMIs (Nov.)

The official PMIs suggest that industrial activity rebounded this month thanks to easing disruptions from power shortages while a renewed virus flare-up held back the recovery in services. And while we know little about its transmissibility and severity, the new Omicron variant could hold back a further economic recovery. On a more positive note, the surveys point to easing price pressures.

30 November 2021

More from Capital Economics Economist

Commodities Weekly Wrap

Middle East tensions back in the spotlight

Having surged this week, the price of oil could rise further in the near term if tensions between Iran and the US continue to escalate. At the same time, the price of gold is benefitting from an increase in safe-haven demand and a weaker US dollar. The prices of most industrial commodities also rose this week as both the Fed and the ECB signalled looser monetary policy and President Trump announced that he would meet with President Xi on the sidelines of the G20 meeting. Markets will be closely watching events in the Gulf over the next few days. Elsewhere, the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, gets under way on Friday and all eyes will be on the Trump-Xi meeting. Even if some sort of trade agreement is reached between the two leaders, we do not think it will last. A deal which would be acceptable to both sides appears increasingly remote. We suspect that by early next year, nearly all of China’s exports to the US will be subject to tariffs. Finally, the biannual OPEC and OPEC+ meetings that had been scheduled for next week have been postponed until 1st-2nd July, reportedly because Russia was keen that the meetings be held after the G20.

21 June 2019

Capital Daily

Market reaction to US-Iran tensions likely to remain contained

This report is only available as a PDF. Click to download.

21 June 2019

Africa Economics Weekly

Easing cycle gains momentum, no news from SONA

Inflation figures released in South Africa and Nigeria this week supported our view that policymakers in both countries will loosen monetary policy later this year. Rates elsewhere are already falling; the Bank of Mozambique cut by 25bp this week. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address was disappointingly light on substance, suggesting that divisions within the ANC are hobbling policymaking.

21 June 2019
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