The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) recently issued a directive on precautions and resolutions in relations to hidden debt risks from local governments. 《银行保险机构进一步做好地方政府隐性债务风险防范化解工作的指导意见》（银保监发 15号）. The CBIRC stated prohibitions for these financial institutions, including banks and insurance companies, on any new working capital loans to borrowers who have presumed hidden debt from local governments, while at the same time prioritise resolving hidden debt with short durations, high interest rates and debts with strong repayment expectations. According to the guidelines, financial institutions are required to strengthen their compliance and due diligence procedures, and shall not in any form increase the hidden debt burden of local governments. It also demands the financial institutions to properly resolve existing hidden debt, and shall not expect any unconditional bailouts from the local governments. Overall, we see the recent series of tightening measures imposed by various regulatory bodies help to prevent any system-wide defaults by LGFVs, as the oversight of systemic risk remains a priority for the regulators. Current offshore USD bonds by LGFVs are much smaller in terms of outstanding issuance amount than those from the onshore markets, and refinancing risks should therefore be controllable. We continue to believe any high-profile defaults by LGFVs are unlikely.
12 Jul 2021
On 2 July 2021, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) issued the "Notice on the Infrastructure Real Estate Investment Trust Funds (REITs) Pilot " (《关于进一步做好基础设施领域不动产投资信托基金 （REITs）试点工作的通知》). In this notice, the scope of the pilot infrastructure REITs’ underlying assets was expanded by adding social housing and parking lots. The expansion of scope was introduced shortly after the first batch of infrastructure REITs’ debut trading on 21 June 2021, with five on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and four on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. We expect the scope of infrastructure REITs to expand to more sectors in the longer term. In our view, the challenge for the further development of the publicly listed REITs in China will be related to the establishment of relevant legislation system and taxation policies.
28 Jun 2021
China has overtaken Japan as the world's second largest bond market, with a market capitalisation of over USD17.70 trillion. The offshore Chinese bond market has also grown to become the largest in the international bond market across the Asia-Pacific region, with USD961 billion in outstanding bonds (excluding sovereign bonds). Foreign participation in China's bond market, on the other hand, remains extremely limited. While foreign investors' access to China's onshore bond market has significantly improved, foreign investors continue to primarily hold sovereign and quasi-sovereign bonds. Among other things, the absence of globally comparable credit ratings creates a barrier for many international investors who rely on global scale ratings to guide their investment and risk management decisions.
18 May 2021
HONG KONG, 18 May 2021. Pengyuan International (PENGYUAN) has today published its criteria for national scale ratings mapping. This criteria article describes PENGYUAN’s approach in mapping national scale ratings from PENGYUAN’s global scale ratings. National scale ratings are opinions on the creditworthiness of an obligor or obligation relative to other obligors and obligations within a single country. The main purpose of assigning national scale ratings is to provide a greater credit differentiation among obligors and obligations in countries whose country- specific risks result in using only a partial section of the rating scale and ratings that are clustered within a few rating categories. PENGYUAN’s national scale ratings are derived based on country-specific mapping tables that determine the relationship between our global and national scale ratings. To distinguish from global scale ratings, national scale ratings will have a suffix to denote the country (e.g., ‘AAAru’ for Russia). PENGYUAN’s national scale ratings contain both long-term and short-term scale ratings. Credit Watch and Outlooks are assigned in the same manner as we do for our global scale ratings.
19 Apr 2021
Regulatory oversight of the Chinese property industry has been considerably tightened since 2016, with traditional financing channels of these companies coming under more strict controls. Against this backdrop, the issuance of asset-backed securities (ABS) products in the Chinese property industry has accelerated substantially, buoyed by the increase in financing demand from companies in the sector. As of 29 December 2020, the accumulated value of ABS from Chinese property companies exceeded RMB1.4 trillion, becoming one of the important alternative financing tools. Property ABS can be broken down into different categories according to their underlying assets, including supply chain ABS, mortgage balance ABS, property fee ABS, commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) and quasi real estate investment trusts (“quasi-REITs”). Different ABS categories are subject to different accounting rules. For example, the supply chain ABS only needs to adjust the liability account items, while the property fee ABS, CMBS and the mortgage balance ABS are classified as secured debt financing, corresponding to the increased bank deposits and liabilities. Quasi-REITs are the only type of property ABS that could be classified as an off-balance sheet item. The on-balance sheet quasi-REITs represent an additional item of the issuer’s liabilities.
08 Apr 2021
China’s local government financing vehicles (LGFVs) have reported more cases of non-standard product defaults since 2018 after the government strengthened the regulatory efforts and oversight over the sector’s financing. According to the statistics, China has seen 90 non-standard product defaults by LGFVs involving 117 entities (including both issuers and guarantors) from January 2018 to November 2020. A large number of default cases happened in provinces including Guizhou, Yunnan, Inner Mongolia and Sichuan, with higher proportion of defaults by county-level LGFVs and LGFVs with no bond issuance record. In addition, it is worth noting that when a prefecture-level LGFV reports defaults, it is typical that the lower-level LGFVs under its jurisdiction may have already reported defaults several times.
08 Feb 2021
For the outlook of Chinese local governments (LGs) in 2021, we have adopted a cautiously optimistic view over the creditworthiness of LGs in China for this year. This is buoyed by our projection that the rapid economic recovery of China will continue in 2021 and the deficit and debt level of the LGs will gradually stabilise. However, the normalising fiscal strategies and liquidity condition will expose risks in some low-level governments and the tail risk should not be neglected.
25 Nov 2020
A credit rating is a forward-looking analytical opinion on an obligor or obligation’s overall creditworthiness, based on the principles of independence, objectivity and impartiality. It mainly focuses on the obligor’s willingness and capacity to fulfill its financial commitments. As one of the infrastructures in the bond market, credit ratings play an important role in revealing credit risks, assisting market pricing and improving market efficiency. However, a credit rating will be effective only if its performance has been validated and accepted by market participants. To improve the quality and recognition of credit ratings, a set of validation techniques should be established to provide reasonable performance measures for credit ratings. Credit spread significance test is a commonly used validation tool of credit ratings performance in China, mainly due to an absence of historical default data in China's bond market. Data unavailability makes it infeasible to directly evaluate the performance of credit ratings using default data. Moreover, defects are observed in both hypothesis and accuracy of the test. In order to validate the credit ratings performance accurately, the market needs a set of reliable validation techniques and measures which can directly reflect the accuracy of credit risk measurement. Given the accumulation of default data in China’s bond market in recent years, the quantitative method using default data to evaluate the performance of credit ratings should be implemented more widely.
30 Sep 2020
As a member of Hong Kong Green Finance Association (HKGFA), Pengyuan International cordially invite you to provide opinion to HKGFA on Hong Kong Green and Sustainable Finance landscape. Please click the link to fill out the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HKGFAsurvey
The Central Sub-branch of the People’s Bank of China in Shenzhen announced on August 25 2020 that, it has completed the CRA Registration of CSCI Pengyuan Credit Rating Limited (Unified Social Credit Code: 914403001922170270, Legal Entity Identifier: 300300E4000144000026). The registration is conducted in accordance with “Interim Measures for the Administration of the Credit Rating Industry”, which is jointly released by the People's Bank of China (PBoC), the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) on November 26 2019.
August 21 2020, Hong Kong. Pengyuan International is delighted to announce the following successions and appointments on the executive level, with immediate effect: Dr. Ke Chen assumes the role of Chief Analytics Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Tony Tong has recently resigned from Chief Analytics Officer for personal reasons. Mr. Terry Zhang assumes the post of Head of Global Strategy and Business Management, and a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Zhang is also assuming several executive duties. Mr. Jonathan Hu has recently resigned from Chief Executive Officer for personal reasons. In years to come, Pengyuan International will continue to undertake the group development strategy and spare no effort to advance itself globally, especially in areas of rating analytics, internal controls, global compliance, talent reserves, as well as accessibilities to diversified credit data, so as to better serve the investors around the world with global credit ratings of premium qualities. Pengyuan International would also like to thank Jonathan and Tony for their great efforts in the past few years, which laid solid foundation for the future development of Pengyuan International. We wish Jonathan and Tony all the success in their future endeavors.
17 Aug 2020
Pengyuan International has today published the industry credit guidelines for global automobile manufacturers for public consultation. These criteria will be effective immediately on the date of final publication, and we intend to complete the review of all affected ratings, if any, within six months thereafter. We expect no impact on our current rating portfolio. We would appreciate comments on these criteria from investors and other market participants. The request-for-comment version of the criteria and analyst contact details are available via the “Preview” and “Download” button on this page.
03 Aug 2020
This research focuses on the government debt (including direct debt and hidden debt) of 11 prefecture-level local governments (LGs) in Zhejiang province (AA-/Stable) and 13 prefecture-level LGs in Jiangsu province (A+/Stable), and we demonstrate the debt burden and debt features of these prefecture-level city LGs. We believe these prefecture-level city LGs as a whole have strong ability to support debt repayment, backed by their advanced economy and solid budgetary revenue. The variance of debt level among Zhejiang's prefecture-level LGs to be smaller and their overall debt level to be lower than the peers in Jiangsu province. The assessment reveals that hidden debt accounted for more than half of the broad debt in most of the prefecture-level LGs in Jiangsu, whose hidden debt burden were generally heavier than their peers in Zhejiang. Meanwhile, the debt growth varies larger among prefecture-level LGs in Zhejiang than in Jiangsu and we also see higher growth in debt-to-GDP ratio in the cities of Zhejiang. Our calculation shows that both average maturity of newly issued LG bonds and average residual maturity of outstanding LG bonds in Jiangsu province were lower than those of Zhejiang province.
07 Jul 2020
When analyzing the credit risk of securitization transactions with a homogeneous and well-diversified portfolio, such as consumer loan ABS and auto loan ABS, static pool analysis approach is typically applied to estimate the portfolio’s default risk (measured by cumulative default rate) using the static pool data provided by the originator. A static pool is a group of assets generated during a specific calendar period, typically a month, quarter or year (referred to as the “vintage” of the data). In general, not all of the static pools provided by the originator have gone through the entire life cycle. For incomplete static pools, the estimates of the cumulative default rates are performed using extrapolation techniques. Specifically, we first calculate the cumulative default rate of each vintage at each observation period, and then project forward the default rates of incomplete vintages through the extrapolation method.
29 Jun 2020
We employ a top-down rating approach to assess Chinese local governments’ credit profiles as we believe it better reflects with the nation’s vertically integrated governing structure. The higher level of an LG, the more power it possesses to shape intra-governmental relations, mobilise external financial resources and the more state-owned assets and enterprises it may control. Higher-Level LGs (HLG), such as at provincial level, should have better creditworthiness than a municipal level LG and so forth. LGs’ fiscal revenue growth has been muted in recent years. They have started feeling this deficit and Covid-19 could make things worse. LGs’ debts have expanded rapidly with the direct debt growth outpacing hidden debt. The difference in creditworthiness among prefecture-level city LGs can be huge and the gap is even wider among lower district and county LGs.
28 May 2020
Local governments in China started actively setting up local government financing vehicles (LGFVs) after they were barred from direct borrowing under a 1994 budget law. However, each LGFV operates within the jurisdiction of its respective local government, and do not directly compete against each other. Under a typical LGFV structure, a local government injects assets, usually in the form of land or cash, to capitalise a legal entity that will subsequently raise funds via bank loans, bonds, or the shadow banking market, and undertakes infrastructure investments for public welfare and/or primary land development in its coverage area. In this article, we try to analyse the common characteristics of a quality LGFV.
26 May 2020
The possible move to exempt Value-Added Tax (VAT) levied on zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) proposed recently by the European Commission (EC) would create a strong push for Europe’s consumption on electric vehicles (EV). We estimate the retail price reduction for purchasing EV due to this VAT exemption would be around 21%. Given the fact that European region is the second-largest EV market globally – only trailing China with a compound annual growth rate of 44% in volume from 2014 – 2019, the removal of VAT on EV – should take effect eventually – in our view will accelerate the adoption of electric cars in the region as the VAT on EV is, in general, far greater than that for gasoline vehicles.
13 May 2020
With strong manufacturing base in battery and battery components - the core parts in electric vehicles (EV), China has evolved to be sufficiently competitive in the global battery manufacturing battleground against Korea and Japan. We believe embracing electrification is strategically vital for China to reverse its lagging position in the global automobile industry as fuel-engine cars would be endangered by the substitution from EV in the future. However, the investment in electrification will in the short run negatively weigh on the credit profile of companies from our samples, but will pay off in the long run. Noticeably, debt level for these companies, in our view, will further increase thanks to the highly capital-intensive nature for EV-related investment. We expect sampled companies in Chinese battery and battery components manufacturing industries will stand out with a higher ROIC in the longer term as they are more valued-added in the EV supply chain.
11 May 2020
We select samples of China’s corporate issuers and asset-backed securities (ABS) with domestic and global credit ratings to compare and analyse the differences in the two rating scales and the reasons behind such differences. While domestic and global ratings on asset-backed securities (ABS) products are relatively similar, the ratings on corporate issuers of domestic Chinese CRAs are 8.69 notches higher on average than those of global CRAs. Compared with domestic ratings, global ratings demonstrate more significant variations in different firm types and industries, and a better discriminatory power. The results of the Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve analyses show that global ratings are superior to domestic ratings in terms of ranking power for credit risks, but domestic ratings still provide valuable information on credit risks.
16 Apr 2020
The Global Rating Criteria for Corporate CDOs describe our approach in evaluating the creditworthiness of corporate Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs), including transactions of corporate loan portfolios, Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLOs), and transactions of corporate bond portfolios, Collateralized Bond Obligations (CBOs). It provides our analytical framework for rating cash flow CDOs backed by portfolios of corporate debt and synthetic CDOs referring portfolios of corporate obligations (Corporate CDOs). These criteria may also be applied to assess other transactions that share similarities with Corporate CDOs, such as transactions backed by portfolios of sovereign securities, municipal debt and project finance loans.
27 Apr 2020
This report attempts to bridge the gaps in understanding China’s ABS market by studying the rating transitions of the structured finance ratings issued by domestic rating agencies in China. We start with a review of the unique market structures of China’s ABS markets before analysing the characteristics of the structured finance rating transitions in China. We further examine the rating performance of the fee income rights ABS, which is a distinctive asset sector in China’s ABS market. Moreover, we provide comparisons between the corporate and structured finance rating transitions and attempt to explain the findings.
22 Apr 2020
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to wreak havoc across global economies, we now believe that the pandemic’s impact on China may be more profound and prolonged than our expectations back in February. Our increased caution stems from the sharp contraction in the economic activity of China’s key trading partners, slower than expected resumption of work and production domestically, as well as the more restrained policy responses and support by China’s government so far. In view of the risks these emerging trends pose, we have revised down our 2020 real GDP forecast for China from 3.1% in our prior severe scenario to a base-case estimate of 1.5–2.0%. We have also revised a number of other macro forecasts which, on aggregate, paint a more challenging picture for China’s public finances, corporates, and households for the remainder of the year.
26 Mar 2020
We anticipate that the Chinese regulators will take an accommodative approach in pushing through reforms in the wealth management product (WMP) market in the remainder of 2020. This will give the joint-stock banks (JSBs) a much-needed buffer amid a difficult environment, in our view. The new regulations – originally targeted for full implementation by the end of the year – call for fundamental changes in the way WMPs are designed, sold and priced. While the banks have made significant progress in improving their market structures since 2018, a few hurdles remain.
4 Mar 2020
The COVID-19 epidemic is likely to hurt some provinces’ economies more than others. Hubei is the most negatively impacted, while Henan, Anhui, Jiangxi and Hunan may also come under significant pressure. Guangdong and Zhejiang have more infected cases than peers but their economies are resilient to absorb such external shock. With the aid of the central government, provincial governments may maintain their creditworthiness in the near-term. But if our pessimistic or severe assumptions materialize, there may be pressure on their ratings in 2020-2021. As of today, Pengyuan International has rated 15 provincial-level mainland Chinese governments.
27 Feb 2020
HONG KONG, 27 February 2020. Pengyuan International has released one research report, “China’s Auto Loan ABS Market 2020: Characteristics and Outlook”.This research report studies the creditworthiness of auto loan asset-backed securities (ABS) issued in China Interbank Bond Market based on the analysis of the ABS transactions’ underlying asset quality, note performance, transaction structure, counterparties, and legal structure.
26 Feb 2020
In our view, the full-year impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic may be determined by economic activity in the month of March. While we remain cautiously optimistic on the economy’s resilience in 2020, we present three likely scenarios that may materialize in the remainder of the year. These scenarios inform our views on individual corporate sectors and we will continue to review our macro assumptions as new data points become available.
25 Feb 2020
The suspension of property sales in China will pressure developers’ liquidity in the short-term and squeeze their profitability in the medium-term. The delay in construction caused by the infection will lead to a decline in investment in construction, and a slow down in property sales and land acquisition. Developers who have a low-cost landbank and conservative land banking strategy are likely to have a more flexible pricing strategy. Small developers who have tight liquidity and difficulties access funding will see credit profile deteriorate. We maintain our previous view in late February that credit profile will diverge among different property developers in China.
24 Feb 2020
China's passenger car shipment is likely to see further drop due to COVID-19. We stick to our view published in early this year that creditworthiness among automakers will diverge amid the sector downturn. With a great proportion of the entire supply chain of auto manufacturing in China being hurt by the pandemic, tier-one carmakers are more operationally and financially resistant to the epidemic, while small-scaled players are very vulnerable to this wide-spreading shock. We expect the sector leverage, measured by Debt-to-EBITDA ratio, to further rise in 2020.