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China debt crunch

Investors cool on China regional banks as bad loans rise

Deteriorating lending quality and profit pressure alarm StanChart and Fidelity

Hong Kong-listed regional lender China Bohai Bank is facing financial pressure from its exposure to weaker regions in north and northeast China.    © Getty Images

HONG KONG -- Bad debt is piling up at China's regional banks as property woes and a slowing economy take their toll, with developers and individuals among those struggling to repay their loans.

Investor appetite is cooling for these smaller banks, which are being hit harder than their bigger state-backed peers by the country's economic headwinds.

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