Evergrande Group, China’s property giant, failed to pay its bond interests due on Tuesday, Oct. 12, marking the third round of bond coupon payments missed in three weeks.
Nikkei Assia cited two bondholders saying that they had not received any payment or message from Evergrande as of Tuesday afternoon (local time).
“Not a word from Evergrande and no sign of the payment either. We will prepare to seek legal recourse,” one bondholder said.
Three offshore bonds issued by Evergrande, including April 2022, April 2023 and April 2024 notes, were due by 0400 GMT on Tuesday, with total coupon payments of $148 million. The group missed two other payments in September.
With a 30-day grace period, Evergrande has one week to make good on missed coupon payments, or it will face a formal default.
Some bondholders have hired law firm Kirkland & Ellis and investment bank Moelis to seek repayment from Evergrande. The two firms began reaching out to Evergrande before the Chinese developer missed its first coupon payment on Sept. 23, but they told their clients last Friday that they had not had a meaningful contact.
Having missed $277 million in coupon payments on its offshore bonds so far, Evergrande has a further $573 million due before the end of this year.
The property giant, which wrestles with more than $300 billion in liabilities, admitted that it could face default if it did not get a cash windfall from new investors or sell assets.
According to Nikkei, developer Hopson Development Holding is reportedly set to acquire a majority stake in Evergrande Property Services, which has a market value of $7.1 billion. Evergrande owns 61% of the unit.
In recent weeks, Evergrande’s debt crisis have been sparking fears about fast-spreading contagion in the $50 trillion Chinese financial system, which accounts for a quarter of the country’s economy.