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China’s Evergrande faces key deadline, investors await outcome By Reuters


© Reuters. The Evergrande sign can be seen in the Beijing office of the luxury residential property under construction by China Evergrande Group on September 22, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

HONG KONG/NEW YORK (Reuters) – China’s embattled property developer Evergrande faced a Thursday deadline to pay interest on one of its dollar bonds, in a crucial moment for global investors worried that its malaise could spread beyond the country’s property sector.

The People’s Bank of China’s injection of 90 billion Yuan ($13.9 Billion) into the banking sector on Wednesday prompted relief from global markets. An Evergrande unit stated that it “resolved” the coupon payment for an onshore bond.

However, it still has to pay $83.5 million dollars in interest on an offshore bond worth $2 billion. A $47.5 million interest payment and additional payments will be due the following week.

Evergrande, China’s biggest property developer, ran into trouble over the past few months as Beijing tightened regulations in its property sector to rein back too much debt and speculation. Evergrande is struggling to pay its $305 billion debts and investors are concerned that it could be a problem for other creditors, including Chinese banks. According to some analysts, investors could not know the outcome of this situation until weeks later.

“The company could restructure its debts but continue in operation, or it could liquidate,” wrote Paul Christopher, head of global market strategy at Wells Fargo (NYSE:) Investment Institute. He wrote that investors would likely suffer losses in either of the two scenarios.

He added that “In the case of liquidation however, Chinese or global investors could decide the contagion might spread beyond China.”

A group of Evergrande bondholders recently selected investment bank Moelis (NYSE:) & Co and law firm Kirkland & Ellis as advisers on a potential restructuring of a tranche of bonds, two sources close to the matter previously said.

One source said that the advice is focused on approximately $20 billion worth of offshore bonds to be paid in case of default.

Analysts downplay the likelihood of an “Lehman Moment”, which is a global liquidity crunch that freezes and spreads financial markets, as well as the threat of collapse.

Jerome Powell of the U.S. Federal Reserve stated on Wednesday that Evergrande’s troubles are specific to China, and that he didn’t see any parallels with the U.S. corporate sectors.

There is not much direct exposure for the United States in terms of its implications. Powell spoke after the Fed’s policy meeting. Powell stated that while big Chinese banks may not be extremely exposed but it is possible to worry about how this could affect global financial conditions by using global confidence channels, global liquidity channels, and other such things.

($1 = 6.4583 renminbi)

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Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.