A paramilitary policeman walks past an Agricultural Bank of China building in Beijing, China. Photo: Reuters, Thomas Peter

China’s third-largest lender by assets, Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), has signed debt-to-equity swap deals with eight companies worth more than US$10 billion, reports Caixin.

ABC’s president Zhao Huan said during a news conference on Wednesday that the bank is in talks to undertake more than 20 debt-for-equity swap agreements from the eight enterprises. He added that the bank intends to create an asset management unit to handle the deals.

The bank reported net profits of US$26.7 billion for 2016, up 1.8% from the previous year, though income from interest declined for the first time, dropping 9.6%.