Global investors including BlackRock Inc. and Allianz SE may be key stakeholders to watch in Country Garden Holdings Co.’s debt crisis given their recent exposure to the embattled Chinese property developer’s dollar bonds.
(Bloomberg) — Global investors including BlackRock Inc. and Allianz SE may be key stakeholders to watch in Country Garden Holdings Co.’s debt crisis given their recent exposure to the embattled Chinese property developer’s dollar bonds.
BlackRock held $358.5 million of Country Garden dollar bonds, according to a filing dated Aug. 14. Allianz’s position was $301 million based on a June 30 filing. That was also when filings from others including Fidelity International Ltd. and HSBC Holdings Plc showed they were holders.
The filings don’t necessarily reflect current holdings as some might have changed since the documents were filed, and firms may hold bonds on behalf of clients. Rules on how funds disclose their holdings vary by country. Reported holdings of banks may include those held at asset-management subsidiaries.
Global creditors’ fate is in focus as Country Garden sits on the brink of its maiden bond default. A missed payment by China’s former biggest developer by contracted sales would send tremors through the country’s debt markets, where offshore creditors have at times gone unpaid when cash went first to domestic peers.
According to filings dated April 30 and March 31 respectively, Ninety One UK Ltd. and Apollo Asset Management Inc. also held Country Garden dollar bonds. Others banks with exposure included UBS Group AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co., based on their filings earlier this month. Deutsche Bank AG and Banque Lombard Odier & Cie SA had positions, according to filings dated June 30.
BlackRock, HSBC, Allianz, Fidelity, Ninety One, UBS, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and Banque Lombard Odier either declined to comment or didn’t immediately offer comment. Apollo has yet to respond to requests for comment.
Data out Wednesday showed the housing market continued to weaken in July. China’s new-home prices dropped for a second month while the value of all homes sold hit their lowest level in nearly six years. Recent sales declines are hurting builders as they try to balance the completion of purchased homes with repaying debt.
“So far, any policy support by the state has aimed more toward completion of residential projects than corporate debt repayment,” wrote Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Andrew Chan and Daniel Fan.
Country Garden has more than 3,000 housing projects in the country, four times those of China Evergrande Group, which until now has been the epicenter of an unprecedented cash crunch among developers.
The countdown has begun for a 30-day grace period after Country Garden missed coupon payments effectively due Aug. 7 on two dollar notes. Meanwhile, the company is soliciting feedback on a proposal to extend payment of a 3.9 billion yuan ($535 million) local note due Sept. 2 with amortized disbursements over 36 months, according to people familiar with the matter.
The developer said last week it planned to hold bondholder meetings in the near future regarding repayment arrangements. The firm reiterated it will take measures to defuse risks and protect the legitimate rights of its investors while ensuring home deliveries.
–With assistance from Lorretta Chen.
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