Beijing to close five trust firms

Beijing will close five more trust and investment companies by the end of the month as a long-planned clean-up of the sector gets under way. The five are controlled by the big four state banks and the People's Insurance Corp of China.

Reform of the mainland's wayward 'Itic' sector has become a priority following the collapse in October of Guangdong International Trust and Investment Corp (Gitic) under a mountain of foreign debt.

Analysts said the closures were unlikely to trigger the international furore sparked by the Gitic closure because they were not direct fund-raising windows. None is reported to have outstanding foreign liabilities.