China Evergrande stares into the void as interest deadline passes

BY Reuters | CORPORATE | 09/24/21 11:49 AM EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A deadline passed on Thursday for China Evergrande (EGRNF), the world's most indebted property company, to pay $83.5 million in interest on a dollar bond. With $305 billion in liabilities, Evergrande is struggling to meet debt obligations and global markets are watching for signs of default.

Here is a timeline of this week's developments.

MONDAY, SEPT. 20:

Evergrande shares in Hong Kong hit lowest level since 2010. Global equity markets wobble on contagion fears. The S&P 500 suffers its biggest one-day drop in four months.

S&P Global Ratings says it does not expect Beijing to provide any direct support to the company.

The cost of insuring China against default rises to near one-year high. Yuan currency comes under pressure.

TUESDAY, SEPT 21:

The company will "walk out of its darkest moment" and resume full-scale construction as soon as possible, the developer's chairman says in a letter to staff.

Evergrande missed interest payments due Monday to at least two of its largest bank creditors, Bloomberg reports. The missed payments had been expected as China's housing ministry had said the company would be unable to pay on time.

Fund giant BlackRock (BLK) and investment banks HSBC (HSBC) and UBS have been among the largest buyers of Evergrande's debt, Morningstar data shows.

Bank of America (BAC) cuts China growth forecast.

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 22:

Evergrande holds an internal meeting and its chairman urges executives to ensure the quality delivery of properties and redemption of wealth management products.

Evergrande agrees to settle interest payments on a domestic bond. The Chinese central bank injects cash into the banking system.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says the Evergrande debt problems seem particular to China and does not see a parallel with the U.S. corporate sector.

The Swiss central bank governor says it would be wrong to dismiss the Evergrande situation as a small local problem.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 23:

Chinese Estates Holdings (CESTF), the second-biggest shareholder of Evergrande, plans to exit its holding completely.

Wall Street Journal reports Chinese authorities asked local governments to prepare for the potential downfall of Evergrande.

A handful of Chinese real estate developers have ratings downgraded by agencies as concern swirls about their debt and repayment abilities.

FRIDAY, SEPT 24:

A Thursday deadline for paying $83.5 million in interest of a dollar bond passed without remark from Evergrande, and bondholders had neither been paid nor heard from the company. Evergrande has a 30-day grace period.

China Evergrande's (EGRNF) electric car unit warns that without a strategic investment or the sale of assets it faces an uncertain future with its ability to pay staff and suppliers and mass-produce vehicles at risk.

Some Chinese banks, insurers and shadow banks stop offering new credit to property developers.

China's central bank again injects cash into the banking system.

(Writing by Nick Zieminski in New York; Editing by Nick Macfie)

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.

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