China Regulators Push Through Sinosteel Debt Restructuring Plan

  • Sinosteel Corp. informs its subsidiary of the approval
  • Plan may involve converting debt into equity, Caixin reports

Chinese regulators have pushed through the debt restructuring plan of a state-owned steel trader as the government gets set for a new round of debt cleanups, a subsidiary said.

Sinosteel Engineering & Technology Co. on Tuesday received a notice from its controlling holder Sinosteel Corp. that its parent’s plan had been approved with guidance from government agencies, according to a statement from the unit to the Shenzhen stock exchange. Beijing-based Sinosteel Corp. will accelerate supply-side reforms and take the restructuring as an opportunity to become an international company, the statement said, without giving details of the plan.

The move comes as Premier Li Keqiang seeks to carry out his plan to cut corporate debt, which more than doubled in the past five years to 111.7 trillion yuan ($16.7 trillion) as of the end of 2015. In the last major debt cleanup in 1999, about 30 percent of bad loans were swapped into equity as directed by the government.

A plan that may convert about half of Sinosteel Corp.’s 60 billion yuan in debt owed to financial institutions to equity has been approved, Caixin reported on Sept. 20, citing unidentified people. The debt may be changed into six-year convertible bonds, the report said.

— With assistance by Judy Chen

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