China's commercial banks have scrambled to issue subordinated bonds this year in order to replenish their capital base amid sluggish performances in the capital market, the Shanghai Securities Journal reported Friday.
Citing statistics from the financial information provider Gildata, the report said the amount of subordinated bonds issued by commercial banks totalled 330 billion yuan (52.4 billion U.S. dollars) this year.
China's five major banks -- Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Bank of Communications -- altogether launched 236 billion yuan in subordinated debt, accounting for over 70 percent of the total, according to the report.
Medium- and small-sized banks have also joined the issuing boom to shore up their capital base. The Bank of Changsha on Thursday issued 1.3 billion yuan in 10-year bonds with an interest rate ranging from 7.2 percent to 7.5 percent.
Analysts attributed the boom to the banks' intentions of preparing for capital restraints ahead of tougher regulations that are supposed to come into force in 2012.
To help banks better combat risks, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) announced new regulatory rules for commercial banks earlier this year, which set the minimum capital adequacy ratio for banks of systematic significance at 11.5 percent, and it set that for banks with non-systematic significance at 10.5 percent from 2012.
But people close to the CBRC told the Economic Observer this month that the implementation of the new rules will be postponed in the face of the economic slowdown.
The move will ease capital pressure for the banks for a while, analysts said, adding that the issuing will continue next year as an important means for banks to boost capital.