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“China s Li Keqiang Warns Investors to Prepare for Wave of Bankruptcies”
by theguardian   
March 14th, 2014
Premier Li Keqiang waves

China is braced for a wave of industrial bankruptcies as its slowing economy forces companies with sky-high debts to the wall, the country’s premier has said.

Premier Li Keqiang told lenders to China’s private sector factories they should expect debt defaults as the world’s second largest economy encounters “serious challenges” in the year ahead.

Speaking after the annual session of the national people’s congress, Li Keqiang said: “We are going to confront serious challenges this year and some challenges may be even more complex.” He told lenders to China’s private sector factories they should expect debt defaults.

Li said China must “ensure steady growth, ensure employment, avert inflation and defuse risks” while also fighting pollution, among other tasks.

“So we need to strike a proper balance amidst all these goals and objectives,” he added. “This is not going to be easy,” he said.

Li’s warning followed the failure of Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy to make a payment on a 1bn yuan (£118m) bond last week. The default was the first of its kind for China and widely seen as pointing to the end of 11th-hour government bailouts for troubled enterprises.

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