April 19, 2018 / 9:11 AM / in a year

UPDATE 1-China Orient AMC plans $16 bln investment in soured debt in 2018

* Raised $2.87 bln from four firms

* Funds will be used to boost capital (Adds executive comments, context)

BEIJING, April 19 (Reuters) - China Orient Asset Management Co Ltd plans to invest 100 billion yuan ($15.93 billion) in non-performing loans this year, board secretary Jianxiong Chen said at a news conference in Beijing on Thursday.

China’s soured debt has been increasing steadily as borrowers struggle to make repayments amid a slowdown in economic growth. While the largest state-owned banks have seen falling bad debt, their smaller peers are likely to see a growing pile-up as borrowers falter.

Chen also said China Orient AMC has raised 18 billion yuan in investment from China Telecom Corp Ltd, Shanghai Electric Group Co Ltd, National Council for Social Security Fund and China Reform Capital Corp.

“The fundraising was larger than expected,” said Yueming Jiang, China Orient AMC director of strategic investment and listing.

The total stake of the four investors comprises less than 20 percent of the company, at around 2 percent to 6 percent each.

The firm said it will use the funds to boost capital adequacy.

China Orient AMC “will use other tools to boost capital this year,” said senior executive Liu Bo.

China Orient AMC, one of the country’s so-called Big Four distressed asset managers, was originally set up as Bank of China Ltd’s bad bank to digest its soured debt in the late 90s. ($1 = 6.2774 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Shu Zhang and Engen Tham; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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