Why global investors are focused on Evergrande

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Evergrande has made a crucial payment that allows it to stay out of default, at least for now, according to Chinese state media.

State-run financial newspaper Securities Times reported Friday that the embattled property conglomerate had made an $83.5 million interest payment on a dollar-denominated bond that was due last month.
A 30-day grace period for that payment is set to expire on Saturday, but Reuters reported, citing an unidentified source, that Evergrande has wired the funds and bondholders should receive it before that deadline.

    Evergrande did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

      The news provided some relief to investors and analysts who had once again worried this week that the company, which continues to teeter on the brink of collapse, would slip into its first formal default.

      It also suggests that the company is taking some effort to appease offshore investors. Previously, Evergrande had worked to clear some tabs with domestic lenders while staying silent on its debts to international investors, a sign that its priority was to pay back Chinese investors first.
      Evergrande says a $2.6 billion deal has collapsed as payment deadline looms
      The company’s stock jumped 4.3% in Hong Kong on Friday, while shares of its property management and electric vehicle units also surged about 4% each.
      According to Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst of Asia Pacific at Oanda, a failure to make the bond payment this weekend could have allowed some of Evergrande’s other creditors to demand their money back, adding further strain on the company.
      But while Evergrande appears to have settled one of its debts, it is not out of the woods.
      Last month, the developer appeared to have missed the deadline for a $47.5 million interest payment on another offshore bond. A 30-day grace period for that payment is set to expire next week, according to Halley.
      For now, the real estate giant has bought itself some time, ending a tense week on a slightly positive note.
      Evergrande’s stock rebound came after a plunge Thursday.
      The developer said this week that it had called off a $2.6 billion deal that would have helped ease its punishing cash crunch.
      The agreement, which would have seen Evergrande sell a controlling stake in its property management unit to rival Chinese developer, Hopson, was terminated as of Wednesday.
      Both companies traded blame for the collapse of the deal, with Evergrande claiming in a stock exchange filing that “the purchaser had not met the prerequisite to make a general offer for shares in Evergrande Property Services.”
      Hopson said in a statement that it was ready to complete the deal, but “other parties” had attempted to change the terms of the agreement.
      'Ghost towns': Evergrande crisis shines a light on China's millions of empty homes
      In recent weeks, Evergrande has been trying to resolve its cash flow issues by attempting to sell some of its assets, such as a partial stake in its electric vehicle business, as well as an office tower in Hong Kong.
      But the company hasn’t had much luck in its search for buyers, which is keeping investors on the edge.

        At a financial forum in Beijing on Wednesday, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He stressed that risks were generally under control, despite what he called “individual problems” in the property market.
        — CNN’s Beijing bureau contributed to this report.
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