John Foley is Reuters Breakingviews' China editor. Based in Beijing, he writes on China’s economy and financial markets. John established Breakingviews’ Hong Kong bureau in 2009, and previously wrote on mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and consumer goods in London. Before joining Breakingviews in 2004, John worked as a copywriter for a London-based advertising agency. John read English Literature at Exeter College, Oxford. Follow John on Twitter @johnsfoley
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Lenders’ annual results give a chance to see what’s happening in corners of the country other data doesn’t show. The numbers reveal companies hit by falling commodity prices, small businesses struggling and consumers losing confidence. Banks may soon be called to the rescue.
GF Securities is paying a high price for foreign currency and international prestige. It will sell $3.6 bln of new shares in Hong Kong around 50 percent cheaper than those already listed in China. Investors back home get diluted – except those connected enough to play both sides.
Agricultural Bank’s 28 percent increase in duff loans over six months looks modest next to what’s happening at some lenders. Across the board, write-offs and overdue loans are ballooning. Still, China’s economic slowdown may be giving cover for some welcome honesty.
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