欢迎访问译联翻译公司!  联系邮箱:fanyi@translian.com
当前位置:首页 > 新闻动态 > 译联动态

新闻动态 / NEWS



作者: 来源: 日期:2016/8/11 8:25:58

China vulture funds hunt for bargains amid debt wreckage





When Chinese distressed debt investor Sheng Li goes to inspect property pledged as collateral for a bad loan, he never knows what he may encounter.



On a sweltering summer day at a rundown commercial development market in the outer suburbs of Shanghai, he finds a shirtless man arranging rolls of wallpaper for shipment. The bare concrete floors of the residential apartment on the upper floor are strewn with rubbish.



Sometimes I’ll hear my colleagues say: ‘This is an ugly place. We shouldn’t buy it.’ But that’s the wrong approach. All that matters is the difference between the buy and sell prices. It’s not like I’m going to live here,” says Mr Sheng, executive partner at Bald Eagle Asset Management, which manages a portfolio of about Rmb1bn ($151m) in assets.

**资产管理公司(Bald Eagle Asset Management)的执行事务合伙人盛利表示:“有时我听到同事们说:‘这地方真差。我们不该买它。’但这么想就错了。唯一重要的是买卖价差。又不是买来自己住的。”**资产管理公司管理着约10亿元人民币(合1.51亿美元)资产。


This is the unglamorous work of investing in Chinese distressed debt, which is essentially a real estate play. Property is overwhelmingly the collateral of choice for loans, and chasing debtors for repayment is usually a futile task.



The world of Chinese “vulture funds” remains small but the industry is poised for growth. Non-performing loans in the country hit an 11-year high of Rmb1.39tn at the end of March, not including defaults on shadow-bank credit. Bad debts are expected to grow as the bill comes due from China’s post-financial crisis debt binge.



China’s finance ministry created four asset management companies in 1998 to clean up the commercial banking system and the AMCs remain the dominant players, but small funds such as Mr Sheng’s are playing an increasingly large role.



The development Mr Sheng is visiting was once a construction materials market and warehouse space for steel traders. Now, with China’s building boom waning and steel prices depressed, many units are empty. Those that are still occupied are used mainly by small-scale merchants on Taobao, Alibaba’s online marketplace.



While Chinese bad debt investors agree that a big wave of distressed assets is headed to market, there is significant disagreement over the profit opportunity.



I’m basically not doing any new investment because I’m not optimistic about where things are headed,” says Li Guoqiang, founding partner of Qingdao Zhengqi Investments. “Within three years, I won’t have any distressed asset investment outstanding. I’ll be purely a service provider.”

青岛正奇投资公司(Qingdao Zhengqi Investments)创始合伙人李国强表示:“我现在基本上不做任何新的投资,因为我对形势并不看好。不出3年,我手头就不会有任何未清的不良资产投资了。我将做一个纯粹的服务提供商。”


Profiting from the new wave of Chinese bad debt will be more difficult than during the first wave, which consisted of roughly Rmb3.5tn in problem loans that the AMCs cleansed from the balance sheets of the Big Four state-owned banks in advance of their initial public offerings between 1999 and 2008. 



As instruments of a policy bailout, the AMCs were not subject to strict profitability targets, focusing instead on disposing of loans as quickly as possible. With Chinese financial institutions then only a fraction of their current size, cash-rich foreign investors such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were able to buy assets on the cheap.

作为政策性纾困工具,资产管理公司没有严格的盈利目标,而是致力于尽快处置这些不良贷款。由于当时中国金融机构的规模远没有如今这么大,高盛(Goldman Sachs)和摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)等资金充裕的外国投资者能够廉价购入一些不良资产。


Selecting assets also required little skill. Rapid economic growth in the 2000s resulted in a rising property tide that lifted all boats. The AMCs not only accumulated land and buildings in prime locations but also swapped debt for equity in profitable state-owned enterprise.



Back then, making money was easy. You really didn’t have to do anything — just buy the assets and sit on them,” says Mr Li. “Property and land prices were rising. And most of the NPLs were from SOEs. The land was all in the city centre."

李国强表示:“当时赚钱很容易。你真的不需做什么——只用买下那些资产然后放着。房价和地价不断上涨。大多数不良贷款来自国有企业。土地也全都位于市中心。” 广州资产翻译公司。


Today the outlook is cloudier. Mr Sheng and Mr Li, both lawyers by training, buy assets from banks, AMCs, or at court-ordered auctions. Facing pressure from shareholders and regulators to keep NPLs low, banks are eager to sell them off but are also driving harder bargains on price. With basic returns now greatly reduced, Mr Li adds leverage to his investments to boost profits.



Distressed debt investors have also turned to internet finance. Gu Suying is chief executive of TZW.com, a crowdfunding platform for investment in distressed commercial real estate around Shanghai. Mr Gu buys office space with his own money, then sells it to groups of investors via the website. After the sale he manages the assets, distributing rental income to investors and collecting a management fee for his trouble.



A typical investor spends about Rmb20,000 for a stake equivalent to two square metres of office space. But Mr Gu says that acclimatising retail investors to the uncertainties of distressed debt is a challenge.



Chinese investors are used to fixed returns and guaranteed repayment,” he says. “This is very different. There’s not even a fixed maturity. It’s hard for people to accept.”



Back at the rundown construction materials market, Mr Li goes about his work much like a journalist. He chats to a passer-by carrying a stack of baseball caps and asks about selling prices in the area. For low-end commercial property, transaction volumes are too low to produce reliable price data.



He also needs to assess how difficult it will be to remove existing occupants. Courts are often unwilling to enforce judgments against “weak cohorts”.



A colleague of mine bought a flat in Beijing from a court auction five years ago and still hasn’t been able to take possession. Every time he shows up the old couple that lives there just locks the door,” says Mr Sheng.



Additional reporting by Ma Nan

Ma Nan补充报道