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HONG KONG – La proliferación del opaco y poco regulado (o desregulado) sistema de la banca en la sombra ha aumentado el temor a una posible inestabilidad financiera. ¿Pero cuán extensa ­–y cuán riesgosa– es la banca en la sombra en China?

Según la Comisión Reguladora Bancaria China, la banca en la sombra (todos los créditos no regulados según los mismo estándares que los créditos bancarios convencionales) aumentó desde ¥800 mil millones ($130 mil millones) en 2008 a ¥7,6 billones en 2012 (aproximadamente el 14,6% del PBI). El total de la actividad bancaria china no incluida en los balances ­–compuesta por créditos a desarrolladores inmobiliarios (30-40 %), a entidades de gobierno locales (20-30 %), y a las pequeñas y medianas empresas (pymes), personas y prestatarios de créditos puente– se estimó en valores que llegan a ¥17 billones para 2012, aproximadamente un tercio del PBI.

El término “banca en la sombra” ganó protagonismo durante la crisis de las hipotecas de alto riesgo en Estados Unidos como referencia a los activos no bancarios en el mercado de capitales: fondos de inversión en mercados de dinero, valores respaldados con activos y productos derivados apalancados, habitualmente financiados por bancos de inversión y grandes inversores institucionales. En 2007, el volumen de transacciones de la banca en la sombra estadounidense superó al de los activos bancarios convencionales.

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