Se in Europa ce la passiamo male “a banche” (dalla Germania con Deutsche Bank all’Italia con MPS – cause diverse, sintomi comuni, anche se con differenti gradi di intensità), in Oriente non se la passano meglio. In particolare, in Cina, il Governo di Pechino sembra aver iniziato sottotraccia a salvare banche e rimettere a posto i bilanci dei principali istituti di credito del Paese.
Perché la Cina soffre di problemi enormi, da un settore bancario cinese ombra che compete con quello ufficiale, a tassi di rendimento degli investimenti manifatturieri che si sono azzerati (McKinsey aveva fatto un survey in cui metteva in luce questa inaspettata verità), livelli di clientelarismo eccezionali, problemi demografici e un sistema finanziario che soffre bolle speculative (come i salti olimpionici della borsa di Shanghai).
UBS lancia la notizia: il repulisti è iniziato. Che effetti avrà?
UBS dice che la Cina abbia iniziato il salvataggio delle sue banche
I bilanci oscuri delle banche cinesi sono il fulcro dei timori per una crisi cinese che viene da lontano, ma il clean-up di queste ombre potrebbero essere già in fase esecutiva, a ritmo sostenuto, dice UBS.“Riteniamo che sono stati fatti notevoli progressi nel riconoscere e trattare i problemi,” Jason Bedford, analista di UBS, ha detto in una nota Giovedi, citando l’analisi di 765 banche sulla terraferma.
“Ricapitalizzazione e salvataggi sono iniziati ed era qualcosa di inatteso (e sottovalutato). Tutt’ora si sottovaluta il loro progresso”, ha detto, aggiungendo che la ricerca UBS ha suggerito il 2015 è stato il primo anno a partire dai primi anni del 2000 con salvataggi bancari di considerevoli dimensioni.
The murky balance sheets of China’s banks have long spurred fears of an impending crisis, but the clean-up may already be proceeding apace, UBS said.
“Contrary to prevailing market wisdom, we believe considerable progress has been made in recognizing and dealing with the problems,” Jason Bedford, an analyst at UBS, said in a note Thursday, citing analysis of 765 banks on the mainland. Il Sistema Bancario Cinese
“Recapitalization and bailouts have started and made unexpected (and under-appreciated) progress,” he said, adding that UBS research suggested 2015 was the first year since the early 2000s with sizable bank bailouts.
China’s banking sector has long spurred concerns that its non-performing loans (NPLs) were grossly underreported and that lending too often was politically directed into industries with too much capacity. Separately, in a note Thursday, Daiwa said the sector’s NPL ratio in the second quarter remained flat at 1.75 percent, while large banks saw their NPL ratio fall 3 basis points on-quarter to 1.69 percent, which it attributed to large NPL write-offs and disposals during the quarter.
During the global financial crisis, China’s government used the banks to inject stimulus into the broader economy. As a result, debt levels rose sharply among local governments and state-owned companies and the banks now hold high volumes of non-performing loans — a problem that is worsening as industrial profitability falls and debtors struggle to service interest payments.
In February, storied hedge fund manager Kyle Bass warned that a Chinese credit crisis would see the country’s banks rack up losses 400 percent larger than the around $650 billion equity hit that U.S. banks took during the subprime mortgage crisis.
Bass was famed as one of the few major investors to correctly call the U.S. subprime housing collapse that kicked off the 2008 global financial crisis. That prescience earned him a mention in Michael Lewis’ book “Boomerang,” which was about the European credit crisis. Il Sistema Bancario Cinese
But UBS’ Bedford noted that China banks’ write-offs and disposal of bad assets have risen three-fold since 2013. He said that 1.65 trillion to 1.8 trillion yuan (around $250 billion-$270 billion) worth of non-performing assets were written off from 2013-2015, citing a review of 173 banks’ financials. That figure was equivalent to 2.05 percent of total loans or 142 percent of NPLs at the end of 2015.
“More surprising is the size of some individual bank bad asset disposals—many were equivalent in size to 4-15 percent of the banks’ total loans,” he said.
UBS estimated banks’ total new equity issuance from the second half of 2014 to the second half of this year was around 620 billion yuan.
But that didn’t mean all was sweetness and light for China’s banks.
Bedford said much more needed to be done to clean up the banking sector, which had grown to 179 trillion yuan in assets.
“We believe that we are at the early stage of the process and that bad debt accumulation is significant and still rising,” he said. “We also note that progress across the country was asymmetrical, with provinces with the weakest economic fundamentals (Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, Liaoning, etc.) recording the least progress in resolving issues at their local lenders.”
He added that if credit continued to expand at two to three times the pace of gross domestic product (GDP) growth, the size of the problem could expand faster than the solution.
While Daiwa kept a negative call on China’s banking sector, it didn’t appear to expect a blow up, saying, “we do not believe the banks’ NPL losses will all hit at once.” But it added, “it could take years for them to clean up their soured loans.”