BEIJING/HONG KONG: China Evergrande Group will hold a meeting with some yuan bondholders on Jan. 7-10 to vote on proposals including one on delaying the redemption and coupon payment date to July 8 from Jan. 8, heaping more pressure on the property developer.
The proposed change in redemption date to be discussed in an online meeting is due to the "current operational status" of the issuer, Hengda, the flagship property arm of Evergrande, said in a statement on Wednesday. It didn't provide any further details.
Evergrande is struggling to repay more than $300 billion in liabilities, including nearly $20 billion of offshore bonds deemed in cross-default by ratings agencies last month after it missed payments.
The bonds in question are Hengda Real Estate Group's 4.5 billion yuan ($156.92 million) 6.98% January 2023 bond, which gives bondholders the option to sell bonds back to the issuer this weekend.
Trading in the bonds will be halted from Jan. 6 ahead of the meeting with bondholders, Hengda said.
Evergrande, the most indebted developer in the world, has not yet missed any bond payments onshore, which are more senior than the offshore debt. The firm failed to make $82.5 million in offshore interest payments at the end of a month-long grace period early last month.
In another resolution to be passed during the online meeting, Hengda must promise to meet its debt obligation, and it will have to formulate a reasonable repayment plan as soon as it expects a failure to make a payment on time, according to the statement.
Chinese authorities have repeatedly reassured markets that Evergrande's woes can be contained, and stressed that paying workers' wages and delivering homes to buyers are priorities for developers in order to maintain social stability.
"A postponement is expected," said a holder of the bonds in question on condition of anonymity. "Given the company is under pressure to prioritize wages ...and apartments."
Evergrande reiterated in a filing on Tuesday it would continue to actively maintain communication with creditors, strive to resolve risks and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of all parties.
The developer set up a risk management committee led by senior officials from state companies in December to study potential restructuring plans.
Evergrande shares listed in Hong Kong traded flat as of 0309GMT, versus a 0.7% drop in the broader market.