China to suspend capital raising by property firms

BEIJING (BestGrowthStock) – China will place a moratorium on capital raising by real estate firms as part of a broader campaign to rein in property price rises, state media reported on Wednesday.

The move could stand in the way of about 110 billion yuan ($16.1 billion) in share issues planned by 45 companies, unnamed sources close to the China Securities Regulatory Commission told the China Daily.

The suspension will allow the Ministry of Land and Resources to examine whether companies have used illegal methods to manipulate market prices, the newspaper said.

China’s banking regulator has also issued new guidelines to make it harder for property developers to obtain funding from trust companies, the 21st Century Business Herald quoted an unnamed executive at a trust company as saying.

Real estate firms seeking loans from trust firms must meet the minimum capital requirement and provide proof of their qualifications for developing a project, the newspaper said.

This would represent a clarification and tightening of rules governing the financing relationship between trust firms and property developers. Real estate firms have been turning to trust companies because they have looser capital requirements than banks.

Beijing, wary about the risks of an asset bubble, has been trying to cool the real estate market, raising mortgage rates and down payment requirements for second homes and pushing local governments to control speculative buying.

Share prices of Chinese property firms have tumbled over the past week, dragging down the main stock index in Shanghai (.SSEC: ) to its lowest level in more than half a year.

Stock Market Money

($1=6.825 Yuan)

(Reporting by Simon Rabinovitch and Aileen Wang; Editing by Ken Wills)

China to suspend capital raising by property firms