China’s Country Garden, the nation’s largest private property developer, was facing yet another impending debt deadline and may soon reveal a restructuring plan for its offshore debt, according to local media on Monday.
Two coupons totaling $66.8 million from Country Garden, which missed two-dollar interest payments last month, are due on Monday.
The developer declined to comment on the Cailianshe claim or whether any payments have been paid.
Country Garden has $5.81 billion in loans not denominated in Yuan and $10.96 billion in offshore bonds. In the event of a default, the debt will need to be negotiated, and creditors may decide to liquidate the business or its assets.
The 6.5% April 2024 and 7.25% April 2026 bonds from Country Garden are linked to the coupons payable on Monday.
The developer has a 30-day grace period for the payments, but if it doesn’t pay a $15 million September coupon by October 17 it risks having its whole offshore debt deemed in default.
Since 2021, China’s real estate industry has been struggling with a debt problem. Private property developers, who account for 40% of Chinese home sales, have mainly defaulted on their loan obligations, leaving many properties unfinished.
More than two years later, the crisis has worsened as a result of the collapse of investor confidence in the housing and capital markets, which has further reduced developer liquidity.
Beijing has implemented a number of assistance measures in recent months to revitalise the industry, which accounts for around 25% of the second-largest economy in the world.
More measures, according to some observers, are necessary.
In a research note published on Friday, UBS stated that despite additional supporting steps to ameliorate the real estate crisis, property sales growth in key cities likely remained poor in September.
According to China Index Academy on Saturday, the country’s average daily home sales based on floor size during the Golden Week holiday were down 17% from a year earlier.
Market participants are keenly waiting to see if Country Garden, which owns properties largely in smaller communities around the nation, will avoid default once more by making payments at the last minute.
Country Garden received permission from its domestic creditors in September to postpone payments on its yuan bonds. The same month, Country Garden made coupon payments on offshore markets in the final hours of a grace period.
A $15 million coupon that is due on September 17 and another $40 million coupon that is due on September 27 both have 30-day grace periods that have not yet been paid by the developer.
On Monday, shares of Country Garden decreased by almost 3%.
The market is also keeping an eye on any new developments at the debt crisis’ focal point, China Evergrande Group, after it said late last month that its billionaire founder was under investigation for an unnamed wrongdoing.
The troubled developer also claimed that a probe into its main unit prevented it from issuing additional debt, an essential step in a reorganisation.
Shares of Evergrande Group fell 8%, while the Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index fell 1.8%.
Shares of its subsidiary China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group (0708.HK) briefly increased by as much as 9% after the company announced on Sunday that a share sale plan with U.S.-listed NWTN had been postponed due to “significant uncertainties” related to Evergrande group. Since September 28th, the stock has been suspended.