China property sector default woes deepen amid Evergrande uncertainty

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Law enforcement officials and safety personnel stroll exterior the headquarters of China Evergrande Group in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China, September 30, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Tune

HONG KONG, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Worries about rising debt defaults by Chinese language property builders sapped investor sentiment on Tuesday amid recent credit standing downgrades and uncertainty concerning the destiny of China Evergrande Group because it scrambles to lift money by promoting belongings.

Evergrande is dealing with one of many nation’s largest-ever defaults because it wrestles with greater than $300 billion of debt. The corporate final month missed making coupon funds on two greenback bond tranches.

The doable collapse of one among China’s largest debtors has triggered worries about contagion dangers to the property sector on the earth’s second-largest economic system, as its debt-laden friends are hit with ranking downgrades on looming defaults.

Evergrande on Monday requested a halt within the buying and selling of its shares pending an announcement a few main deal. Evergrande Property Companies Group additionally requested a halt referring to “a doable basic provide” for firm shares.

China’s state-backed International Occasions mentioned Hopson Improvement was the client of a 51% stake within the property enterprise for greater than HK$40 billion ($5.1 billion), citing unspecified different media studies.

Evergrande declined to remark forward of an official announcement, as buying and selling within the firm’s shares remained suspended on Tuesday.

Whereas buyers awaited affirmation of the Evergrande stake divestment, Chinese language developer Sinic Holdings grew to become the newest to be downgraded by Fitch Rankings on uncertainty over the reimbursement of its $246 million bonds maturing Oct 18.

Sinic’s long-term issuer default ranking was lower to ‘C’ from ‘CCC’, and got here after the corporate introduced that sure subsidiaries have missed curiosity funds on onshore financing preparations, Fitch mentioned in its report on Tuesday.

S&P International Rankings additionally lowered its ranking on the corporate, saying it had run into “extreme liquidity downside and its debt-servicing potential has nearly been depleted”. It mentioned the corporate was more likely to default on its notes due on Oct. 18.

Sinic declined to touch upon the rankings downgrades.

“For the reason that Evergrande disaster, buyers have grow to be extra fearful and centered about Chinese language developer’s reimbursement potential,” Thomas Kwok, head of fairness enterprise at Hong Kong brokerage CHIEF Securities.

The liquidity points have elevated as many builders weren’t capable of situation recent debt to refinance, and as their potential to lift money from promoting properties dropped due to new laws, he mentioned.

“This will likely be a vicious cycle for the builders that aren’t robust sufficient, as a result of there’s not sufficient liquidity available in the market for everybody.”


The $5 billion Evergrande is more likely to get from the reported unit stake sale would theoretically cowl its near-term offshore bond funds. It has $500 million in bond coupons due by year-end, adopted by a $2-billion greenback bond maturity in March.

Analysts have mentioned the potential Evergrande deal indicators the corporate was nonetheless working to satisfy its obligations. However any fire-sale of its belongings would additional amplify issues about the remainder of China’s property sector and the broader economic system.

Chinese language homebuilder Fantasia Holdings’ dollar-denominated bonds misplaced almost half their market worth in a large Monday selloff, after it mentioned it had didn’t make a $206 million worldwide market debt cost on time.

In a press release, the property developer mentioned it’ll assess the potential affect of the non-payment on the group’s monetary situations.

An index of China high-yield debt , which is dominated by developer issuers, hit its lowest for the reason that pandemic drawdown in 2020, and has misplaced nearly 20% since Could – whereas comparable U.S. and European indexes have rallied.

Asian markets fell for a 3rd straight session on Thursday as Evergrande’s troubles added to broader investor worries about rising inflation and slowing world development, whereas in Hong Kong the corporate’s developer friends had been beneath renewed strain.

An index monitoring Hong Kong-listed mainland property shares fell 2.95% on Tuesday, in comparison with a 0.3% acquire within the native benchmark .

Shares in Guangzhou R&F Properties and Sunac China Holdings every fell 8% whereas the offshore yuan was additionally beneath strain. Shares in Evergrande’s electrical automobile unit eased after leaping on Monday.

Evergrande’s greenback bonds have firmed marginally over current days, however stay at distressed ranges beneath 30 cents on the greenback.

Reporting by Clare Jim, Tom Westbrrok and Alun John; Writing by Sumeet Chatterjee; Modifying by Shri Navaratnam


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