Date
26 September 2017
China appears to have made some headway in reining in local government borrowings. Photo: Bloomberg
China appears to have made some headway in reining in local government borrowings. Photo: Bloomberg

China local debt growth slows amid tighter scrutiny

China’s local government debt growth has cooled amid tighter scrutiny on borrowing and a slower pace of economic expansion, according to a report.

Outstanding debt for nine provinces and nine cities grew 3.79 percent from the end of June last year through March, 7 percentage points slower than the pace in the first half of 2013, Bloomberg quoted China’s top auditor as saying in a report delivered to a National People’s Congress meeting Tuesday.

The nine audited provinces still had 821 million yuan in overdue liabilities as of end-March, even after borrowing 57.9 billion yuan during the nine preceding months to repay maturing debt, Liu Jiayi, head of the National Audit Office, was quoted as saying in the report.

Four cities raised a combined 15.7 billion yuan by using government guarantees or collateral that weren’t allowed, Liu said.

Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, meanwhile, was quoted as telling lawmakers that the ministry will closely monitor risks in local government debt and curb any illegal borrowing “decisively”.

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RC

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