China Evergrande Downgraded at Moody’s Despite Debt Progress

Moody’s Investors Service downgraded China Evergrande Group’s credit rating by one notch to B2, the second downgrade by a global ratings agency in less than two weeks, Bloomberg News reported. Concern has been building over the troubled Shenzhen-based developer, which on Wednesday tried to reassure investors about its financial health, saying it has reduced its net debt-to-equity ratio to below 100%, as required by Chinese regulators. Evergrande has also said it pared total borrowings to about 570 billion yuan ($88 billion) from 717 billion yuan in December. “Although Evergrande has been reducing its debt to improve its financial stability, the company still faces sizeable maturing debt and puttable bonds over the next 12-18 months,” Moody’s said in a statement Wednesday evening. “In addition, its trade payables increased to 622 billion yuan at the end of 2020 from 545 billion yuan at the end of 2019, which funded part of the debt reduction,” it said. Moody’s also downgraded its ratings on Evergrande subsidiaries Hengda Real Estate Group Co., Tianji Holding Ltd and Scenery Journey Ltd., which are either issuers or guarantors of its bonds overseas. The ratings are under review for further downgrade. Read more.