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Bank of China leads lenders for US commercial real estate

Bank of China is emerging as one of the largest non-US banks investing in the troubled US commercial property sector, and its local bankers are scouring the market for new deals. With most US banks paralysed and the market for commercial mortgage-backed securities frozen, foreign banks are now providing more than 60 percent of all debt financing for commercial real estate, according to data from CB Richard Ellis. Xiaojing Li, Bank of China’s general manager for the US, says: “Our Beijing head office is encouraging overseas branches to get into the local lending business as long as we control the risk.” Bank of China has no non-performing loans in real estate, Mr Li says, thanks to conservative guidelines. The data is an estimate provided to the writer of the original story in the Financial Times.

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