One of the largest Chinese developers, China Evergrande Group, defaulted on interest payments to international investors for the second time on Wednesday, German Market Screening Agency (DMSA), an investor company, announced.
The investor noted that China Evergrande Group missed interest payments on two bonds in September, with the 30-day grace period expiring in October. However, "shortly before the end of the grace period, the public was misled by rumors about alleged interest payments."
According to DMSA (Deutsche Marktscreening Agentur in German), they recognized that default was inevitable in late October.
"But while the international financial market has so far met the financial turmoil surrounding the teetering giant Evergrande with a remarkable basic confidence - one can also say: with remarkable naivety - the U.S. central bank Fed confirmed our view yesterday,” the company's senior analyst Dr. Marco Metzler is quoted in the press release as saying. “In its latest stability report, it explicitly pointed out the dangers that a collapse of Evergrande could have for the global financial system."
According to the press release, DMSA invested in Evergrande bonds to be able to file for bankruptcy against the corporation as a creditor, and the grace period on those bonds expired on Wednesday. Evergrande would have been required to pay $148.13 million in interest on three bonds by today's deadline.
Evergrande has a total of 23 outstanding bonds, all of which have a cross-default clause, according to DMSA. Metzler explained if even one of these bonds defaults, which happened today, the status of the remaining 23 bonds is automatically changed to "default."
But Evergrande Group does not have to declare bankruptcy immediately as a result of this, the investor warned. An insolvency petition must be filed with the court to determine bankruptcy. "This can be done either by the company itself or by one or more of the company’s creditors. And this is precisely what is now planned," DMSA said.
According to Metzler, the company is currently preparing bankruptcy proceedings against the Chinese developer.
Importantly, Metzler stated that "as soon as a court opens insolvency proceedings, Evergrande will also be officially bankrupt - and that is only a matter of days."
On Tuesday, China Evergrande Group sold about $145 million in shares in media company HengTen Networks Group Ltd. ahead of the next maturity of its dollar-denominated bonds. Evergrande has sold an approximately 5.7% stake in HengTen Networks over the past three trading sessions, according to media reports on trading.
At the same time, the developer reportedly missed the interest payments on bonds that were due on November 6.
Evergrande has used deferral on several occasions before. Lately, it has been able to avoid default only thanks to this instrument in combination with the sale of its own assets. In October, the developer reportedly sold two business jets to pay off a $128.5 million coupon debt.
Evergrande has been struggling with more than $300 billion in liabilities, $19 billion of which are international market bonds.