From Bloomberg: Total debt of publicly traded non-financial companies in China and Hong Kong has surged to $1.98 trillion from $607 billion at the end of 2007. Some 63 companies have a debt-to-equity ratios exceeding 400%, compared to the average of 73%. In latest filings, 351 have negative ratios of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to interest expenses, while 409 have coverage of less than 1. Our view? $630 billion in Chinese corporate debt will need to be paid off or refinanced this year and we have just seen the first onshore default. It is a reasonable expectation that more will follow. Until now, investment vehicles have been supported by government largesse and investors have been made whole in the event of trouble. That is simply unsustainable, not least because the debt market is now so large that to continue on that trajectory would eventually bankrupt the country.
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