Chinese property developer Zhongliang Holdings said bondholders have approved the exchange of $629 million worth of 2022 bonds into new notes due next year.
The developer has been struggling to secure bondholders’ consent for the notes due in May and July 2022 totalling $729 million.
For the remaining 2022 bonds, where Zhongliang did not gain approval, it said it did not expect to make timely repayments and urged those bondholders to agree to an exchange.
“The company would like to reiterate to the holders of the remaining exchange notes that the liquidity issues faced by developers, including the company, in the PRC property sector continues to be severe,” the Shanghai-based developer said in a statement.
Property Market Squeeze
Zhongliang is one of a plethora of mid-sized Chinese real estate developers offering exchanges to new notes to cope with a liquidity squeeze in the sector that has been exacerbated by plummeting sales amid strict Covid lockdowns.
Some larger developers have defaulted, the latest among them being Sunac China, which missed the deadline for coupon payments on a $742 million offshore bond and last week said it does not expect to make payments coming due on other bonds.
Zhongliang said only 83.66% of the July 2022 notes were tendered for exchange and that it waived its minimum requirement that 90% be tendered. Just over 90% of the May notes were tendered.
In exchange for the 2022 notes, it will issue $201.44 million in 8.75% senior notes due April 2023 and $428.40 million in 9.75% senior notes due December 2023.
The weaker yuan has also made offshore debt harder to repay.
A senior executive at Zhongliang said last week the firm would need to pay an additional $1.25 million on its bond coupons for the bond exchanges due to a weaker yuan.
Zhongliang’s Hong Kong-listed shares edged up 0.4% in Tuesday morning trade versus a 0.9% rise for the Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index.
- Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard