China’s state-owned banks ramp up financing to support real estate sector recovery
Published: Feb 17, 2024 07:19 PM
Cranes are seen at a construction site of a housing complex in Beijing. Photo: VCG

Cranes are seen at a construction site of a housing complex in Beijing. Photo: VCG

The Bank of China (BOC) said on Saturday that it has proactively implemented the financing coordination mechanism and supported the reasonable financing needs of real estate developers, in a bid to promote the stable and healthy development of the property sector.

Other state-owned banks, together with a number of joint-stock lenders, have also ramped up efforts to implement the financing coordination mechanism. 

For instance, the Bank of Communications said that, as of Tuesday, the bank had supported 1,442 property projects on a list eligible for financing assistance. 

And, the Agricultural Bank of China said on February 11 that it had matched more than 2,700 real estate projects through the coordination mechanism. Non-state-owned enterprises accounted for about 80 percent of those projects, and most of the projects were residential to meet the public demand for improved housing.

Experts noted that the timely and effective move will address the financing difficulties of some developers and help boost market confidence, as the country's real estate sector has gradually recovered.

"The large number of projects showed that banks are highly supportive and proactive in financing real estate projects, which will improve the cash flow of the developers to ensure the delivery of buildings, in addition to helping resolve their debt woes," Yan Yuejin, research director at the Shanghai-based E-house China R&D Institute, told the Global Times on Saturday.

Yan noted that the housing sector has shown more positive signals and will regain momentum in the medium to long term, as the country's economy rebounds. 

Tian Yun, a veteran economist based in Beijing, said that the banks' efforts are in line with the requirements of the Central Economic Work Conference, a tone-setting meeting held in December, which urged for proactive measures taken to defuse risks in the property sector.

The conference noted that the reasonable financing needs of real estate enterprises of varied ownerships should be met equally, and the building of a new development model for the real estate sector should be accelerated.

"The property sector is expected to complete a structural adjustment this year, and many industry indices should turn from negative to positive, as the hidden risks in the sector are being resolved," Tian said.

The stabilization of the real estate sector proves to be a huge help to the overall recovery of residents' confidence and the recovery of domestic consumption, Tian said, noting that the stable development of the housing sector will play a vital role in ensuring that China's GDP growth will reach around 5 percent in the coming years.

In January, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the National Financial Regulatory Administration announced plans to establish a financing coordination mechanism for the property sector. Based on comprehensive assessments of real estate projects and their developers, the mechanism is expected to generate a "white list" of projects eligible for financing assistance.