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Building default fears pummel Chinese property firms

Building default fears pummel Chinese property firms

FILE PHOTO: A man rides a bicycle next to a construction site near residential buildings in Beijing, China, January 13, 2021. Picture taken January 13, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File Photo

LONDON : Chinese property firms watched their bonds take another beating on Friday as the prospect of a wave of defaults in the sector in the wake of China Evergrande's troubles continued to scare off investors.

Among a frenzy of developments, advisers for Evergrande bondholders said they had still not heard from the company following its recent missed bond payments.

Smaller rival Fantasia appointed advisors after it shocked markets by also missing a payment this week, while both R&F Properties and Xinyuan suffered credit rating downgrades, the latter after it had asked to push back one of its own payments.

A dollar-denominated bond issued by Greenland Holdings, which has built some of the world's tallest residential towers including in Sydney, London, New York and Los Angeles, dropped 10 cents to almost half its face value.

Kaisa Group, which was the first Chinese property developer to default back in 2015, saw one of its bonds suffer a 9 cent slump , while R&F and Central China Real Estate bonds were also widely sold.

Most of Evergrande and Fantasia's outstanding bonds are already trading around just 20per cent of their face value.

The bond that Fantasia failed to repay this week had previously been changing hands close to par as the firm had said only two weeks earlier that its cashflow was fine.

It said on Friday it was trying to find a solution "as soon as possible".

Fitch was the latest credit rating agency to downgrade debt-saddled Xinyuan Real Estate, after it announced a plan to swap and extend a bond payment deadline due next week.

The agency said it considered the move "a distressed debt exchange", adding the replacement bond would also give buyers less protection if the company defaulted in the future.

S&P meanwhile cut R&F Properties' rating to a deep-into-junk 'B-'. As well as China, it has super-sized projects under development in global cities like London, Toronto and Melbourne.

"R&F's capacity to handle its near-term debt maturities will hinge on the execution of sizable asset sales, in our opinion," S&P said.

(US$1 = 0.1552 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Marc Jones; Editing by Tom Arnold, Kirsten Donovan)

Source: Reuters

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