China developer Zhenro defaults on interest payments for two offshore bonds

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HONG KONG – China’s Zhenro Properties said it has missed interest payments on two offshore bonds and expects four more defaults in the coming months due to the lockdown in Shanghai, but added that it plans to make the payments by the end of May.

Shares in the country’s 30th-largest developer slid 10% in Monday morning trade while its bond prices also tumbled.

“During the past few weeks due to the COVID lockdown situation in Shanghai, some of the company’s operations have been halted and the progress of sales and asset disposals have been delayed,” it said in a filing on Sunday.

It was not able to pay $20.4 million in combined interest for its May 2020 and June 2021 notes within the 30-day grace period after they were due on March 10.

The two notes together are worth $540 million.

Zhenro also flagged that it might miss interest payments on its September 2020, June 2020 and January 2020 notes that have grace periods ending respectively on April 10, April 14 and May 14. It might also default on the $23.4 million principal of April 2021 notes due April 13, it said.

Those four bonds combined are worth more than $860 million.

The January 2020 bond due April 2024 was trading at 13.006 cents on the dollar compared to 15.443 cents on Friday.

Zhenro plans to extend maturity of its onshore and offshore debt and dispose of assets worth up to 4 billion yuan ($630 million) in the first half, sources told Reuters in February.

($1 = 6.3717 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)