September 1, 2014 / 10:06 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-China's CCB says not considering hybrid ownership now

(Adds background on hybrid ownership, SOE pay reform, capital raising plans)

BEIJING/HONG KONG, Sept 1 (Reuters) - State-owned China Construction Bank Corp (CCB) currently has no plans to implement a hybrid ownership scheme that could see other Chinese lenders cede more control to private investors, Chairman Wang Hongzhang said on Monday.

Wang was speaking to reporters about two months after China’s fifth-largest lender Bank of Communications (BoCom) said it was studying the possibility of implementing the hybrid scheme.

News of the possible reform sent BoCom’s shares soaring as investors hoped the scheme would boost profits by allowing the bank more autonomy in making lending decisions, especially with bad debts piling up at China’s major banks.

On Friday, CCB reported slowing profit growth and an increase in bad loans in the second quarter, joining its peers that were also impacted by the slowing economy.

Wang said bad loans had a significant impact on CCB’s profits.

In a bid to bolster their capital base against such non-performing loans, Chinese banks have announced plans to issue large volumes of so-called preference shares.

CCB is also considering plans to issue such shares, but would do so after other banks, the bank’s Chief Financial Officer Xu Yiming told reporters.

China’s biggest banks are turning their back on mainstay borrowers like manufacturers and courting high growth industries such as healthcare, food and IT in a bid to boost revenue.

The banks’ efforts to diversify their borrowers could be hampered by the government, which uses these lenders as a means of directing credit to struggling industries and stimulating growth when the economy is struggling.

In a sign of how the government dictates policy at the banks, CCB said it would implement any request to reduce supervisors’ pay at state-owned companies.

China’s state-owned companies are considering pay cuts for senior executives as part of a wider-ranging reforms, aimed at stamping out corruption and inefficiency, according to media reports. (Reporting by Xie Heng in BEIJING, Alison Lui in HONG KONG and Engen Tham in SHANGHAI, writing by Lawrence White; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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