China's state-run Central Huijin Investment Ltd. began buying shares in the nation's four biggest banks after valuations dropped below levels reached during the global financial crisis.

Central Huijin started acquiring existing stock in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., China Construction Bank Corp., Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. and Bank of China Ltd. yesterday, according to a statement on its website. The fund will continue with "related market operations," it said, without providing details on how much it will invest and whether it will buy the shares in Hong Kong or Shanghai.

The MSCI China Financials Index is trading at 6.3 times estimated earnings, below the 6.9 reached during the 2008 crisis, after slumping on speculation defaults will rise as the economy slows. The gauge lost 36 percent this year as China's property market shows signs of cooling and concern grew that $1.7 trillion of local-government financing will lead to bad debts.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to Treasury & Risk, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical Treasury & Risk information including in-depth analysis of treasury and finance best practices, case studies with corporate innovators, informative newsletters, educational webcasts and videos, and resources from industry leaders.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Treasury & Risk events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including PropertyCasualty360.com and Law.com.
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.