Business / Economy

China announces new debt swap quota for local governments

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-06-11 10:41

BEIJING -- China on Wednesday moved to regulate local government debt with the launch of another 1 trillion yuan ($163.9 billion) debt swap deal, the second time it has done so this year.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) launched a 1-trillion-yuan debt swap deal in March.

Two trillion yuan has been channeled into the deal.

The decision was based on results from the National Audit Office (NAO) in 2013 that found about 1.86 trillion yuan of local government debt would mature in 2015, according to a source with the MOF who declined to be named.

Qiao Baoyun, a professor with the Beijing-based Central University of Finance and Economics, said debt swaps can relieve local governments' burdens and balance the relationship between debt management and stable growth.

Bai Chong'en, a professor at Tsinghua University, said the swaps will not change the overall liquidity in the market.

China is struggling to rein in local government debt caused by unbridled borrowing during an investment and construction binge since the global financial crisis in 2009.

The NAO said that local government debt stood at around 10.9 trillion yuan by the end of June 2013.

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