China's banks – and its shadow sector – may have spooked investors, but some analysts are starting to see them as a safe investment bet.
When it comes to the country's larger banks, which make up 50 percent of the industry, "they are absolutely fine from the credit stand point," said Ritesh Maheshwari, managing director at Standard & Poor's.
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"If there is any government which can actually manage from the high investment proportion to a consumption-led economy, I think China stands a very good chance, and that's what we are betting on," Maheshwari told CNBC last week. "You end up taking bigger risk, but then you end up getting better returns as well."
China's banking shares certainly appear cheap, trading at 4.6 times 12-month forward earnings, compared with a long-term average of 10.8 times, according to data from Nomura. Consensus expectations are for earnings per share to grow 10.1 percent in 2014, the data show.