【英语中国】中国地产商遭遇国际债市冷眼 China developers get bond market cold shoulder

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2015-1-23 08:12

小艾摘要: International bond investors are giving Chinese property companies the cold shoulder, forcing them to look elsewhere for funding as concerns mount over corporate governance and cash flow in the sector ...
China developers get bond market cold shoulder
International bond investors are giving Chinese property companies the cold shoulder, forcing them to look elsewhere for funding as concerns mount over corporate governance and cash flow in the sector.

Mainland developers have become a core part of the Asian junk bond market, raising $19.5bn in 2013 and $21.4bn last year, according to Dealogic.

A quarter of that borrowing came in January in both years. Chinese real estate companies raised $5.3bn in dollar bond markets during the first three weeks of 2013 and $4.9bn over the same period in 2014.

This year, not a single deal has been completed. Bankers say a number of property companies — including some of the best known — have postponed debt-raising plans or are looking elsewhere for financing as investors turn increasingly cautious.

“You don’t want to go hat in hand to investors when they feel they’re catching a falling knife,” said the head of debt capital markets at one investment bank.

The highly indebted sector has been rocked by the bond and loan defaults of Kaisa, a Shenzhen-based, Hong Kong-listed developer. The company, which has $2.5bn in outstanding offshore debt, ran into trouble at the start of December when the local government imposed a sales ban at some of its properties.

The chairman and chief financial officer stepped down soon after, triggering a loan repayment that the developer then missed. Days later, Kaisa failed to pay a coupon on one of its US dollar bonds, prompting Chinese courts to freeze its assets.

Many analysts still believe Kaisa will prove an isolated case. But the incident has “completely shattered confidence” in the sector, said a debt banker in Hong Kong, with many investors fearing that Beijing’s sweeping anti-corruption campaign is switching its focus to property companies.

Echoing Kaisa’s early problems, last week a handful of other developers admitted that they too had been the subject of sales bans in Shenzhen. Companies quickly sought to play down investor fears, with one issuing a statement denying its chairman had fled to the US, while another rejected claims that its chairman was under investigation.

The constant stream of updates and rumours surrounding the sector has created a “political risk panic”, said ANZ credit strategist Owen Gallimore, prompting a sell-off in both shares and bonds. Shares in Fantasia have fallen 12 per cent in the past week, while Glorious Property is down 27 per cent. Investors have instead gravitated towards the biggest names in the sector, especially those with state backing, such as China Vanke, the country’s biggest developer.

Bonds across much of the sector are now trading well below par, making new deals a far harder sell in the near-term. Analysts at Jefferies said the Kaisa situation will “distort the timetable” for developers looking to raise or refinance debt, while the regulatory vetting process will be “more stringent than usual”.

Chinese property companies have become far more reliant on offshore financing than they were just a couple of years ago. Agile and Country Garden, for example, both get about half their funding from international credit markets.

Last year proved tough going for the housing market in China, with sales and transaction volumes both falling. However, looser monetary policy has helped steady the sector in recent weeks.

由于在企业治理和产业现金流方面的顾虑日益增加,国际债券投资者令中国房地产开发企业碰了一鼻子灰,迫使它们不得不从其他途径筹集资金。

根据Dealogic的数据,中国内地房地产开发商已成为亚洲垃圾债市场的主角。2013年,它们通过该市场筹集了195亿美元,去年则筹集了214亿美元。

在这两年里,四分之一的贷款出现在1月份。2013年头三周,中国房地产公司在美元债券市场筹集了53亿美元。而在2014年同一时期,它们则筹集了49亿美元。

然而,今年头三周却一笔交易也没有完成。银行方面的人员表示,由于投资者变得日益谨慎,包括部分最知名企业在内的多家房地产企业,要么推迟了债务融资计划,要么在寻找其他融资途径。

一家投资银行的债务资本市场主管表示:“目前,投资者的态度就像他们正在接住下落的刀子,你不会想在这种时候低声下气地去求他们。”

佳兆业(Kaisa)的债券违约和贷款违约事件,已震撼了这个债台高筑的产业。佳兆业是一家在香港上市的地产开发商,这家总部驻深圳的企业背负的未偿付离岸债务高达25亿美元。2014年12月初,深圳市政府对该公司部分物业下达禁售令,从而令该公司开始遭遇麻烦。

不久,佳兆业董事长和财务总监辞职,这一人事变动触发了一起还贷要求,而该公司却未能偿还这笔贷款。几天后,佳兆业未能如期支付一笔美元债券的利息,导致中国法院冻结了该公司名下部分资产。

许多分析师仍然相信,佳兆业将被证明是个别现象。然而,香港一位从事债券业务的银行家表示,这一事件“彻底碾碎了人们(对房地产业)的信心”。许多投资者担心,中国政府的全面反腐运动,正在将重心转移至房地产企业。

就在上周,几家其他开发商承认,他们也遭遇了深圳市政府的禁售令,从而面临与佳兆业早先同样的问题。这些企业迅速采取措施,试图降低投资者的恐慌心理。其中一家公司发布声明,否认其董事长已逃至美国。还有一家企业则否认了其董事长遭遇调查的说法。

澳新银行(ANZ)信贷策略师欧文?加利莫尔(Owen Gallimore)表示,围绕房地产业不断流传的最新消息及种种传闻,产生了一轮“政治风险恐慌”,在股市和债市同时引发了抛售潮。在过去一周内,花样年控股(Fantasia)的股价下跌了12%,而恒盛地产(Glorious Property)的股价则暴跌27%。与这些企业相反,投资者已开始倾向于房地产业的知名品牌,特别是那些有政府背景的企业——比如中国最大的地产开发商万科集团(China Vanke)

如今,房地产业的大部分债券交易价格都大大低于票面价值,使得近期内新发行债券的销售难度大大增加。杰富瑞(Jefferies)分析师分析师表示,对于试图发行债券或开展再融资的开发商来说,佳兆业的局面“打乱了他们的时间表”,而监管部门的审查过程将“比往常更严格”。

比起仅仅几年前,中国房地产企业对离岸融资的依赖已大大增加。比如,雅居乐(Agile)和碧桂园(Country Garden)大约半数的资金都来自国际信贷市场。

去年对中国楼市是十分艰难的一年,销售额和成交量双双下跌。不过,更加宽松的货币政策,已在最近几周帮助房地产业稳定下来。

译者/简易

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