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Northeast Asia

Chinese banks slow lending

Mainland banks have long been known for their penchant to commit chunky amounts to loans, either as participants or as book runners, but that is changing, say loans bankers in the region.

By Pan Yue

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Mainland lenders are becoming more selective, bankers say



They point to a recent loan for China Vanke, a Rmb4.15 billion ($656 million) facility, which will be used to acquire 20 shopping malls in China from Singaporean real estate company CapitaLand. DBS of Singapore and Maybank of Malaysia are leading the trade. But when Vanke Real Estate (Hong Kong) Co sealed a dual-currency loan of around $720 million in December 2017, Bank of China and Bank of Communications were the mandated lead arrangers alongside DBS, HSBC and UOB, according to Dealogic.

Bankers say the trend started even earlier. Last March, Chinese tech firm Tencent sealed a $4.65 billion five-year deal in which only four Chinese banks participated — Bank of China, Bank of Communications, China Construction Bank and China Development Bank. In June 2016, eight Chinese banks had joined in a $4.44 billion five-year loan for Tencent.

“They are not as aggressive as before, as liquidity onshore has tightened and costs of funding go up,” says a head of loan syndications in Hong Kong.