China Tells Banks to Stress Test Their Evergrande Exposure

Chinese regulators have instructed major creditors of China Evergrande Group to conduct a fresh round of stress tests on their exposure to the world’s most indebted developer, Bloomberg News reported. Authorities led by the Financial Stability and Development Committee, China’s top financial regulator, recently told lenders including Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. to assess the potential hit to their capital and liquidity should Evergrande run into trouble. It’s unclear whether the results will lead to any official action. While it’s not the first time regulators have required banks to report their Evergrande exposure, the directive suggests concerns about the company’s financial health have become serious enough to once again reach the upper levels of China’s government. Evergrande bonds and shares have slumped in recent weeks amid a drumbeat of negative news, from late payments on short-term debt by some of its affiliates to a media report that authorities are scrutinizing the developer’s dealings with a bank in which it owns a major stake. Angst over Evergrande’s debt pile is resurfacing about nine months after the last liquidity scare at billionaire Hui Ka Yan’s property behemoth, which reached a deal with investors in September to avoid repayments that would have placed a significant strain on the junk-rated company’s balance sheet. Evergrande’s dollar bonds rallied at the end of last year and had traded in a relatively stable range until they began tumbling anew at the end of May. Read more.