Country Garden Leaves Bondholders in Dark as Interest Unpaid

Distressed Chinese developer Country Garden Holdings Co. has passed an initial deadline to pay dollar bond interest with holders yet to receive the money, keeping the threat of a first default looming, Bloomberg News reported. The builder, which has become a symbol of China’s broader property debt crisis, had to pay $15.4 million of interest by Monday on the note. Two holders said they hadn’t gotten payment as of 3 p.m. Hong Kong time Tuesday. Country Garden didn’t comment when reached. There’s a 30-day grace period before a default can be called. Once China’s largest developer, Country Garden has been engulfed in a broader property debt crisis and warned last month it may default. Fresh concerns about broader financial market contagion from China’s property sector flared last month when the firm missed paying $22.5 million of interest on other dollar bonds by an initial deadline. It wound up honoring that obligation at the last-minute earlier this month just as grace periods were ending. But deep distress persists at the company, which is one of the world’s most heavily indebted developers with 1.36 trillion yuan of total liabilities. Read more.