LONDON – Goldman Sachs said on Thursday it now expected almost a fifth of lower-rated Chinese property firms to default this year, although it could be almost a third in a more severe scenario.
The U.S. investment bank raised its base case default rate estimate to 19% from 11% previously and its downside case estimate to 31.6% from 25.4%.
“Whilst there have not been many incidences of payment defaults in recent weeks, stresses are picking up,” Kenneth Ho wrote in a note to clients on Wednesday.
“The coming months will see heavy bond maturities across China Property HY, with potentially more maturity extensions/bond exchanges to emerge, as well as payment defaults.”
Goldman Sachs estimates high yields firms have $3.6 billion worth of bonds maturing by the end of the month, followed by $3.3 billion in March and another $3.7 billion in April.
(Reporting by Karin Strohecker; editing by Marc Jones)