IfW in the News

Hey, big lender

13.07.2019

Christoph Trebesch shows in a study that China has exported record amounts of capital to the rest of the world which is mostly not reported to the IMF, the BIS or the World Bank.

Excerpt from the Article

(...) A new study by Sebastian Horn and Christoph Trebesch of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and Carmen Reinhart of Harvard University offers the most comprehensive picture yet of China’s official credit flows (including state-owned banks). It adds to concern about whether China has sowed the seeds for debt problems abroad. They find that nearly half of China’s lending to developing countries is “hidden”, in that neither the World Bank nor the IMF has data on it.

The problem is most severe for the most vulnerable borrowers: the authors conclude that in its reporting to the Bank for International Settlements, an organisation of central banks, China has disclosed no loans to Iran, Venezuela or Zimbabwe, despite giving them plenty in the past 15 years. They speculate that China avoids cross-border claims by disbursing loans directly to Chinese contractors, so that recipient governments will not misuse funds.

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