End in sight for debt crisis

By Bi Xiaoning (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-03-29 09:58

The subprime crisis in the US seems to be bottoming out, analysts from home and abroad said at a conference on the finance industry on Friday.

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"We know what happened to Bear Stearns, and we may see more assets deteriorating in the future. However, I'm glad to see some new funds are acquiring these non-performing assets and non-performing mortgage loans, which may be a signal that the subprime crisis is near the bottom," Eric D. Landheer, CEO of NASDQ in Asia-Pacific region, said.

Other analysts highlighted the positive signals from the market.

"The market value of ABS (asset-backed securities) has fallen to $50 billion from $100 billion, which indicates that the bottom is drawing near. We can expect a V-bottom or U-bottom," Yan Yong, director of the collateralized debt obligation department with Credit Suisse, said.

"The layoffs on Wall Street provide another clear signal. Usually, the economy will start shaping up after layoffs on Wall Street. The companies on Wall Street are cutting staff, but maybe haven't finished."

The subprime crisis has dampened Chinese investors' desire to play the market, but economists have warned against a panic.

"Even if the US economy were to go into a recession, the effect in China won't be as serious as in other countries," Shuvojit Banerjee, an economist with ESCAP (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), said.

Looking ahead, China's economy will remain strong and the country's GDP could grow by 10.7 percent, according to a recent report released by ESCAP.

Zuo Xiaolei, chief economist with China Galaxy Securities Corp, has predicted that the country's GDP growth rate will stay about 10 percent this year.

However, inflation will also remain a problem as food and fuel prices have been climbing.

(For more biz stories, please visit Industry Updates)