China's Everbright plans to buy a trust firm

14:06, November 25, 2010      

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China's Everbright Bank, the country's sixth-largest commercial bank, is considering buying a trust firm, its chairman said on Thursday.

The plans come as China's banking regulator recently stepped up scrutiny of banks and trust firms as part of efforts to rein in liquidity.

"We are exploring ways to acquire a trust firm," Everbright's Chairman Tang Shuangning said in prepared remarks to a forum on mergers and acquisitions in Shanghai.

In August, the regulator ordered lenders to bring loans they had transferred to trust firms back on to their balance sheets and has ordered trust companies to halt the launch of wealth-management products via banks. Tang said Everbright Bank's non-performing loans currently stand at 6.4 billion yuan ($962.1 million), accounting for only 0.86 percent of its total loan portfolio.

Everbright Bank has issued 16.0 billion yuan in subordinated debt and has recently completed a 115 million yuan private placement to shore up its capital, Tang said.

With more than 400 branches across the country, Everbright Bank is controlled by Central Huijin, the investment arm of China's $300 billion sovereign wealth fund.

Hong Kong-listed China Everbright, the Beijing-based financial conglomerate, directly owns 6.4 percent of Everbright Bank, company data showed.

Source: China Daily/Agencies


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