China to establish land registration system by 2016

SHANGHAI Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:35pm EDT

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China plans to establish a land registration system by 2016 and make it operational within two years, the country's Ministry of Land and Resources said, part of an effort by Beijing to make the real estate market more transparent.

Chinese regulators have been struggling to get a grip on real estate speculation, in particular by corrupt officials and companies under their control, that can drive up prices in the housing market.

If those bets turn sour, as they have begun to do in third- and fourth-tier cities, economists fear the taxpayer will ultimately be on the hook for the bad debts incurred.

(Reporting by Pete Sweeney; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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