Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Chinese Problem... a nutshell.

The biggest of the separate investment companies set up by the
municipal government here is an entity known as Wuhan Urban
Construction Investment and Development, created to help finance
billions of dollars’ worth of projects, including roadways, bridges
and sewage treatment plants.

According to city records, Wuhan U.C.I.D. has 16,000 employees, 25
subsidiaries and $15 billion in assets — including the possibly
inflated value of the land itself. But it owes nearly as much, about
$14 billion.

“U.C.I.D. is heavily in debt,” a company spokesman, Sun Zhengrong,
conceded in an interview. “This may lead to potential problems. So we
are trying to make some adjustments.” He declined to elaborate, saying
the state company’s finances were “our core secret.”

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