China economic planner to punish offshore debt issuers that don't register

[SHANGHAI] China's top economic planning agency said it will take action against issuers of offshore debt that fail to register their transactions with regulators, noting some firms have recently issued without registering.

The National Development and Reform Commission's (NDRC) statement posted on its website on Friday did not cite issuer names or transaction sizes, but said firms, underwriters or individuals who had deliberately avoided registering or provided misleading information would be added to a national blacklist and punished.

Additionally, all firms who had issued offshore debt but had not yet registered or reported results needed to so by the end of January, the statement stipulated.

In September, NDRC scrapped a cumbersome foreign debt approval process and instituted a new registration system, stipulating that firms with good credit need only register in advance and then notify NDRC of new issuance within ten days after the fact.

Offshore debt issuance has slowed significantly in recent months as the yuan has depreciated against the dollar and onshore borrowing costs have fallen.

But regulators have made a concerted push to expand bond market access for firms both domestically and internationally to help offset weak bank lending.


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