Sunday, January 23, 2022

Chinese developer misses major bond repayment of US$179 million

Hong Kong-listed Sunshine 100 China Holdings has repeatedly struggled to meet its debt obligations this year and also defaulted on a bond repayment in August.

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Another Chinese property developer said Monday it had defaulted on a major bond repayment, citing liquidity problems amid a government crackdown on the debt-laden sector.

China’s real estate industry – a key growth driver in the world’s second-largest economy – has cooled in recent months after Beijing tightened home buying rules and launched a regulatory assault on speculation.

The moves have created headaches for several major developers, notably China Evergrande, the country’s second-largest by volume that is weighed down by billions of dollars in debt.

On Monday, Hong Kong-listed Sunshine 100 China Holdings said it had missed a Sunday deadline to make US$179 million in principal and interest payments on a 10.5% bond.

The default was due to “liquidity issues arising from the adverse impact of a number of factors including the macroeconomic environment and the real estate industry”, the company said in an exchange filing.

Sunshine 100 has repeatedly struggled to meet its debt obligations this year and also defaulted on a bond repayment in August.

The company now has US$385 million of outstanding dollar notes, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Evergrande – which is drowning in US$300 billion of debt – has so far managed to avoid default, but it has dollar bond coupons worth US$82.5 million in total due Monday, when a 30-day grace period ends, according to Bloomberg.

On Friday, embattled founder Xu Jiayin was summoned by officials after the company released a statement warning it may not have enough money to “continue to perform its financial obligations”.

The Guangdong provincial government later said it would send a working group to Evergrande to “supervise and promote enterprise risk management”.

The property giant’s shares tumbled more than 12% when markets opened Monday morning.

Rival developer Kaisa last week said it had failed in a bid for a debt swap that would have bought it crucial time to pay back some of its bonds.

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