Salem Radio Network News Sunday, May 22, 2022

Business

Debt-laden China Evergrande to hold call with investors on Wednesday – sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) -China Evergrande Group and its financial advisers will hold a call with investors at 9 pm (1300 GMT) on Wednesday, sources said, the first such call since it defaulted on some dollar bond payments last month.

Evergrande, once China’s top selling real estate developer, has more than $300 billion in liabilities, including nearly $20 billion of international bonds all deemed to be in default.

Its debt crisis has engulfed other Chinese developers and roiled global financial markets over the past year, and contributed to a sharp slump in China’s property market.

Newly appointed company executive director Siu Shawn, who is also the chairman of Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group Limited , and a member of the property developer’s risk management committee, Chen Yong, will join the call, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Chen is a compliance director of state-owned Guosen Securities. Andrew Huang, Evergrande’s Hong Kong branch general manager, will also be present on the call.

Evergrande set up the risk management committee in December with mostly members from state enterprises, as the Guangdong provincial government leads the work on the firm’s restructuring.

The embattled firm on Monday sought more time from its offshore bondholders to work on a “comprehensive” and “effective” debt restructuring plan, after a group of Evergrande’s offshore creditors said they were ready to take “all necessary actions” to defend their rights if the company did not show more urgency to resolve a default.

Evergrande has also asked the bondholders to disclose their holdings by mid-this week to identify investors for communications, and hired more financial and legal advisers to follow up with demands from creditors.

Shares of Evergrande closed up 1.7% on Wednesday, while its defaulted dollar bond due April 2022 dropped to 15.997 cents on the dollar from 17.074 overnight, according to data by Duration Finance.

Rating agency Moody’s said in a report on Wednesday that covenant packages in Evergrande’s offshore issuances had become increasingly lax, loosening or eliminating key protections, and putting the recovery prospects for offshore bondholders in peril.

Offshore bondholders rank behind the creditors of Evergrande’s over 1,950 onshore subsidiaries, Moody’s added, and none of which guarantee the offshore bonds.

The agency said the weakened covenants and increased size of debt carve-outs have allowed the firm to increase leverage materially.

“Flexible covenants have left Evergrande and other Chinese property developers with a corporate family rating of B3 negative and below vulnerable to the highly cyclical nature of China’s real estate market,” Jake Avayou, a Moody’s vice president and senior covenant officer, said in the report.

(Reporting by Clare Jim in Hong Kong and Jason Xue in Shanghai; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Kim Coghill)

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Bob Gorrell
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