China: Chaos as government asks citizens to stock up on supplies
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Evergrande currently lays claim to the not so fortunate title of “the world’s most indebted property firm”. It owes more than $300billion (£225billion) in liabilities.
Almost $20billion (over £14billion) of this are international market bonds.
The 30-day grace periods for paying for three of these bonds ended yesterday after the initial October deadline was missed.
These bonds were collectively worth around $148million (£110million).
Failing to pay up would have resulted in a formal default by the company on the bonds and would, according to Reuters, have triggered “cross-default provisions” for other Evergrande dollar bonds.
But clearing firm Clearstream said last night that overdue payments had been made, with two unnamed investors confirming this report.
It is unclear whether this money came from the Chinese Government or from the company’s billionaire founder, Hui Ka-yan.
Late last month, China urged Hui to help repay Evergrande’s obligations with his own personal wealth, according to Bloomberg.
Either way, Evergrande is still so far from being in the clear that it is hard to call this repayment a victory.
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On the bond front alone, a range of other deadlines loom.
In early December, grace periods for two more dollar bonds, together worth more than $80million (£60million), will come to an end, according to Bloomberg.
A further $255million (£190million) in bond repayments could be owed before the end of January 2022.
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The US Federal Reserve this week warned that the company’s troubles could spill over to the global economy.
The body noted in a report: “Financial stresses in China could strain global financial markets through a deterioration of risk sentiment, pose risks to global economic growth, and affect the United States.”
Chinese regulators have attempted to dial down fears that Evergrande will continue spiralling downwards.
Last month, China’s central bank commented that the risk of spillover from the firm to the wider financial sector was “controllable”.
But the company has many more debts to work through before any nerves are likely to be settled.
Sky News Business Reporter Ross Greenwood said earlier today that the possibilities of Evergrande collapsing completely or being bailed out by Beijing also still exist.
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