Chinese Banking Stress Test Assumptions Imply Chinese Real Estate May Be Overvalued By As Much As 60%
Now this is what a real stress test should look like. Bloomberg quotes a banking insider that "China’s banking regulator told lenders last month to conduct a new round of stress tests to gauge the impact of residential property prices falling as much as 60 percent in the hardest-hit markets." And just in case it is unclear what the reality of the situation is, because as Europe demonstrated all too well, nobody would test for something which is not already priced in, China is effectively telegraphing to the world that it is bracing itself for a more than 50% plunge in select real estate values. "Banks were instructed to include worst-case scenarios of prices dropping 50 percent to 60 percent in cities where they have risen excessively, the person said, declining to be identified because the regulator’s requirement hasn’t been publicly announced. Previous stress tests carried out in the past year assumed home-price declines of as much as 30 percent." The doubling in stress is somewhat to be expected considering the tens of trillions in renminbi pumped into the banking system via whole loans and other CDO products, most of which have gone into building up empty cities, vacant apartment complexes, and unused infrastructure projects. As we noted previously when discussing the recent Fitch report on shadow funding of the real estate bubble, the nearly 50 million in vacant units, the ugly truth about the Chinese bubble is slowly starting to leak out.
The tougher assumption may underscore concern that last year’s record $1.4 trillion of new loans fueled a property bubble that could lead to a surge in delinquent debts. Regulators have tightened real-estate lending and cracked down on speculation since mid-April, after residential real estate prices soared 68 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to estimates from Knight Frank LLP, the London-based property adviser.
A deep slump in China’s property market may further slow the nation’s economy, which grew at a less-than-forecast 10.3 percent pace in the second quarter. China is still the fastest growing major world economy. Concern that Chinese growth may slow due to a real-estate slump erased an early rally in U.S. stocks.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission said in a July 20 statement that banks should “continue to deepen” stress tests on lending to property and related industries, citing a speech by Chairman Liu Mingkang during a meeting attended by regulatory officials and bank heads. The release didn’t give details. Officials at CBRC didn’t return calls seeking comment.
Results from previous stress tests show that the ratio of non-performing real estate loans among Chinese banks would rise by 2.2 percentage points if home prices drop 30 percent and interest rates rise by 108 basis points, the person said. Pretax profits would fall 20 percent under that scenario. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.
Measures to cool property-price gains included raising minimum mortgage rates and down-payment ratios for second-home purchases, and a suspension of lending for third homes.
Needless to say the "recoupling" that will occur once investors finally peek behind th books of largely insolvent Chinese books, will blow up the economies of Australia and New Zealand, which are nothing than a second derivative on China, and will do miracles to the European export-led Golden Age.