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CHINA PRESS: The Chengdu Branch of Shanghai Pudong Development Bank was fined
CNY462 last week by China's banking regulator for illegally loaning as much as
CNY77.5 billion to shell companies as cover-ups for its non-performing loans,
Shanghai Securities News reported over the weekend. Top management associated
with the scandal were barred for life from working in banking, fined and
charged, while 195 lower-level executives were disciplined, it said. Pudong Bank
said in an exchange filing that the fine's impact is immaterial to the bank's
***Comment: Chinese commercial banks, under regulatory pressure to reduce high
NPL ratios, lent out recklessly to SOEs. These loans increased the risk of
defaults and made it harder for private companies to obtain capital.