Ping An Offers to Finance Down Payments in China

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BEIJING—One of China’s biggest financial firms is offering to lend money to home buyers for down payments, part of a trend that could help the housing market but has prompted worry about risks to the financial system.

Ping An Insurance 601318.SH -0.07% (Group) Co., one of China’s largest insurers and a financial conglomerate, has started offering loans to consumers to cover down payments. A real-estate subsidiary of Ping An last month opened a financing service for buyers at 121 residential property projects across the country, built by developers that include Shimao Property Holdings Ltd. 0813.HK +3.69% and Greenland Holding Group Co.