June 23, 2017 / 3:48 AM / a month ago

China's ICBC says checks of loans by big acquirers are routine

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FILE PHOTO: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC)'s logo is seen at its branch in Beijing, China, March 30, 2016.Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) said on Friday its checks of loans to companies that made overseas acquisitions is routine, following reports that the regulator had ordered lenders to assess credit extended to a handful of highly acquisitive firms.

In a statement, ICBC also said it was not "dumping" bonds issued by companies whose loans it was assessing, an apparent response to market rumours on Thursday.

Reuters and other media outlets reported on Thursday that China's banking regulator had ordered a group of lenders to assess their exposure to offshore acquisitions by a handful of dealmakers that had been on an overseas buying spree.

The firms include HNA Group, Dalian Wanda Group Co, Anbang Insurance Group, Fosun International Ltd and Zhejiang Luosen, which was behind the purchase of A.C. Milan football club earlier this year, a source told Reuters.

Wanda-issued bonds traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange dropped 1.8 percent on Thursday, and shares in Wanda Film Holding Co fell 10 percent on Thursday, before they were suspended on the Shenzhen bourse.

Reporting by Shu Zhang and Tony Munroe; Editing by Stephen Coates

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