A report that Chinese state-owned companies will be allowed to walk away from loss-making commodity derivative trades provoked anger and dismay among investment bankers on Monday as they feared it may set a damaging precedent.
The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the regulator and nominal shareholder for state-owned enterprises (SOEs), told six foreign banks that SOEs reserved the right to default on contracts, Caijing magazine quoted an unnamed industry source as saying in an article published on Saturday.
While the details of the report could not be confirmed, it was Monday's hot topic in financial circles from Shanghai to Singapore as commodity marketers feared that companies holding underwater price hedges could simply renege on the deals, costing banks millions of dollars in profit.
"It's like the father suddenly told the creditors of his debt-ridden son that his son won't pay any of his debt," said a lawyer from the derivatives risks committee of the Beijing Lawyers Association. (C ) Reuters