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Evergrande crisis not China’s Lehman moment, Citigroup says

Growing investor angst about Evergrande and a crackdown on China’s real-estate sector have caused a chain reaction across global risk assets.
Outside the China Evergrande Group Royal Mansion residential development under construction in Beijing, China. Image: Gilles Sabrie/Bloomberg

Beijing will take action to prevent the China Evergrande Group crisis becoming a “Lehman Moment” for the nation, but some banks may become victims, according to analysts at Citigroup.

“Policy makers will likely uphold the bottom line of preventing systematic risk to buy time for resolving the debt risk, and push forward marginal easing for the overall credit environment,” analysts including Judy Zhang wrote in a note.

Growing investor angst about Evergrande and a crackdown on China’s real-estate sector have caused a chain reaction across global risk assets this week, even ensnaring stocks with less tangible links to China.

Citigroup’s analysis of banks’ loan exposure to high-risk developers suggest credit risk is the highest for China Minsheng Banking Corp, Ping An Bank Co and China Everbright Bank Co.

Bank of Nanjing Co, Chongqing Rural Commercial Bank Co, Postal Savings Bank of China Co are less vulnerable and “we would see any dip as an enhanced opportunity to buy quality names,” the analysts wrote.

Jefferies Financial Group Inc. analyst Shujin Chen also sees “little chance of systemic risk” from Evergrande and advises investors to buy bank stocks on dips, Chen’s top picks in the sector include China Construction Bank Corp. and Bank of Ningbo Co, she wrote in a note.

Read: SA shares slide, as default risks haunt Evergrande

© 2021 Bloomberg

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