El próximo incendio chino

PEKIN – A principios de este año, proliferaban los rumores sobre la inminente debacle financiera china, que sería consecuencia del derrumbamiento del mercado inmobiliario o del incumplimiento de la deuda de los gobiernos locales. Pero, en los últimos meses, la economía se ha estabilizado y quedan pocas dudas sobre la capacidad china para crecer más del 7 % este año. Dado que el gobierno chino tuvo un amplio margen de maniobra para intervenir a través de sus políticas, este cambio no debiera resultar sorprendente. Pero la hora de la verdad financiera simplemente ha sido pospuesta, no evitada.

Los problemas fundamentales que dispararon las alarmas en primer lugar –incluidas las burbujas inmobiliarias, la deuda de los gobiernos locales, el rápido crecimiento de la actividad de la banca en la sombra y los crecientes niveles de apalancamiento corporativo– no han sido resueltos todavía. Entre ellos, la amenaza más inmediata para la estabilidad económica y financiera china es la combinación de los elevados costos de endeudamiento, la baja rentabilidad de las corporaciones no financieras y los elevadísimos indicadores de apalancamiento corporativo.

Según un estudio de la Academia China de Ciencias Sociales, la relación entre la deuda corporativa de empresas no financieras y el PIB de ese país era del 113 % a fines de 2012. Standard & Poor’s halló que, un año después, la deuda total de esas empresas alcanzó los 14,2 billones de USD, suficiente para eclipsar a la deuda estadounidense, de 13,1 billones de USD y convertir a China en el mayor emisor de deuda corporativa del mundo.

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