China bond regulator to ease controls on firms selling debt

SHANGHAI (BLOOMBERG) - A bond regulator in China has said it will ease controls on corporate debt sales as economic growth slows.

The National Development and Reform Commission, which oversees state-backed companies' bonds, said AAA rated notes or securities whose issuers have AAA scores could be waived from internal review procedures and get sale approval directly from the regulator, the statement said. Debentures backed by guarantors with good credit or bonds rated AA+ or above with asset pledges can also get the waiver, the statement said.

The rule change aims to boost corporate notes' role in stabilising growth and promoting investment, and comes as Premier Li Keqiang encourages more bond sales to help stem the worst slowdown in a quarter century.

Chinese companies have sold a record 6.79 trillion yuan (S$1.49 trillion) of notes this year, already 14 per cent more than all issuance in 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

When applying for bond sales, issuers are no longer required to provide comments from provincial NDRCs, prospectus synopses, approvals from local government, lead underwriter's due diligence reports and underwriter contracts or pricing reports, the statement said.