China saw two of its large borrowers fail to make payments last month in a market slowing amid troubled lending, according to a report citing several people familiar with the matter.
Private investment group China Minsheng Investment Group Corp. missed a February 1 payment to bondholders, according to Bloomberg News. Separately, Wintime Energy Co. failed last week to meet the terms of a restructured debt repayment plan. The company defaulted in 2018. The report identified each as a big borrower,and Minsheng could follow Wintime as a top failure.
China’s economic numbers have faltered as is shown in third quarter growth slowing to 2009 global financial crisis rates, Bloomberg reported in January. That report cited existing problems with the country’s financial structure, suggesting China’s economy was in trouble before the U.S. levied tariffs on Chinese goods.
This falls in line with remarks President Donald Trump made to Breitbart News in October regarding China’s readiness for trade talks. “China wants to make a deal. China would love to make a deal,” he said. “I don’t think they’re ready yet.” He went on to say, “They’ve made too much money for too long” and that hundreds of billions of dollars from the U.S., “Rebuilt China.”
“They are not doing well,” president Trump said at the time. “If you look at their economy, the Chinese economy is not doing well. And we’re doing very well. We’re doing better than we’ve ever done.”
Bloomberg reported in January:
What goes widely unnoticed is that China is already in crisis. No, it’s not the sort of hold-on-for-dear-life collapse the U.S. had in 2008 or the surprising, ferocious meltdowns the Asian Tiger economies experienced in 1997. Nonetheless, it’s a crisis, complete with gutted banks, bankrupt companies, and state bailouts.
President Trump entered a 90-day trade truce with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 in Argentina on December 1. The two agreed to focused trade talks during that time in hopes of a trade agreement between the two nations, as well as Trump’s requirement that China halt theft of U.S. intellectual property. China also agreed as part of the truce to resume increased levels of purchases of U.S. commodities that suffered after China issued retaliatory tariffs on the U.S.
U.S. trade negotiators are in Beijing this week continuing trade talks that have involved meetings in both Beijing and Washington, DC, during the course of the 90-day truce. In December China began issuing statements promoting the progress of talks between the two sides, including Trump’s required issue on U.S. intellectual property.