China’s Real Estate Crisis Worsens As Companies Risk Default

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Will Kessler Contributor
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Two of China’s top real estate developers both show signs that they may not be able to pay off their international debts as the country’s property sector continues to suffer, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Country Garden, which just one year ago appeared to be withstanding China’s tumultuous real estate crisis, failed to make a payment to international bondholders Monday after it reported disappointing September sales, according to the WSJ. China Evergrande, another major Chinese developer, abandoned a debt restructuring deal after regulators barred it from issuing new securities that it needed to fulfill its obligations due to its subsidiary being under investigation, which could now lead to the collapse of the company. (RELATED: Biden Plans To Meet With Xi For First Time In A Year Amid Tensions With China: Report)

“This will likely lead to the uncontrolled collapse of the group,” a group of investors who hold more than $6 billion of Evergrande’s bonds said about the company, according to the WSJ.

Country Garden’s missed payment was for a $60 million loan, which led the company to announce that it did not expect to meet its offshore debt obligations, which amount to $15.3 billion, including to U.S. lenders, meaning it expects to default, according to the WSJ. The developer has reported a 44% drop year-over-year in sales for the first three quarters of 2023 and an 81% drop for the month of September.

Evergrande had originally struck a restructuring deal that it took two years to create in an attempt to avoid a default, covering $35 billion of its debts, according to the WSJ. The company owes more than $19 billion in international bonds, with a total of $332 in liabilities as of June.

Workers at Country Garden’s Yunhe Shanyuan project site said in August that they had not been paid since January. The real estate crisis began in 2021, already resulting in companies accounting for 40% of Chinese homes defaulting on their debt.

The Chinese economy at large is facing troubling indicators as exports, investments, factory outputs and retail sales all show declines. The real estate sector accounts for 1/4 of China’s economic activity.

Country Garden did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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