China Evergrande Group bondholders are about to find out if the property giant’s liquidity crisis is as dire as it appears.
Interest payments on two Evergrande notes come due Thursday, a key test of whether the developer will continue meeting obligations to bondholders even as it falls behind on payments to banks, suppliers and holders of onshore investment products. Investors are pricing in a high likelihood of default, with one of the notes trading at less than 30% of face value.
The Evergrande payments due Thursday include $83.5 million of interest on an 8.25%, five-year dollar bond, Bloomberg-compiled data show. There is a 30-day period before a missed payment is considered a default, according to the bond’s covenants. Evergrande needs to pay a 232 million yuan ($36 million) coupon on an onshore bond the same day.
In total, Evergrande has $669 million in coupon payments coming due through the end of this year. Some $615 million of that is on dollar bonds, Bloomberg-compiled data show. Fitch Ratings flagged the increased chance of a payment failure this month when it slashed the firm’s credit grade even deeper into junk territory, citing the risk of “probable” default.
Evergrande is also scheduled to pay interest on bank loans Monday, with a one-day grace period. Monday and Tuesday are public holidays in China. While details on the amount due aren’t publicly available, Chinese authorities have already told major lenders not to expect repayment, people familiar with matter said last week. Evergrande and banks are discussing the possibility of extensions and rolling over some loans, the people said.
SOURCE : www.bloomberg.com