Prestiti nell’ombra

HONG KONG – La proliferazione del sistema bancario ombra della Cina, poco trasparente e scarsamente regolamentato (o privo di regole), ha sollevato timori di una possibile instabilità finanziaria. Ma esattamente quanto è vasto – e rischioso – il sistema ombra in Cina?

Secondo la Commissione cinese per la regolamentazione bancaria, il sistema bancario ombra (tutti i crediti non regolamentati dagli stessi standard previsti per i prestiti bancari tradizionali) sono aumentati passando da 800 miliardi di yuan (130 miliardi di dollari) nel 2008 a 7,6 trilioni di yuan nel 2012 (circa il 14,6% del Pil). L’attività bancaria totale fuori bilancio in Cina – composta dai crediti agli imprenditori edili (30-40%), agli enti pubblici locali (20-30%) e alle piccole e medie imprese (Pmi), ai privati e ai mutuatari con prestiti ponte – ammontava secondo le stime a 17 trilioni di yuan nel 2012, all’incirca un terzo del Pil.

Il termine “sistema bancario ombra” o “shadow banking” ha guadagnato terreno durante la crisi dei mutui subprime negli Stati Uniti per giustificare gli asset non bancari nel mercato dei capitali, come i fondi del mercato monetario, titoli obbligazionari cartolarizzati e derivati “leveraged”, solitamente finanziati dalle banche di investimento e dai grandi investitori istituzionali. Nel 2007 il volume delle operazioni del settore bancario negli Usa superava quello degli asset del settore bancario ufficiale.

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