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Chinese banks throw support behind teetering developer Vanke

Tan KW
Publish date: Thu, 23 May 2024, 07:40 PM
Tan KW
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 Only a month ago, China Vanke Co looked like it might become the nation’s next massive property developer to default.

Now, shares and bonds of the Shenzhen-based builder are soaring after Chinese banks stepped in with nearly US$4 billion of funding - including a large syndicated loan announced on Thursday. One Vanke dollar bond due 2029 soared to about 65 cents from 40 cents in early March, while the company’s shares have gained 85% from an April low.

While scepticism remains about the builder’s long-term financial health, Vanke’s ability to secure new financing has eased concern about an imminent cash crunch. The rally is part of a tentative uptick in sentiment towards China’s property sector, after the government unleashed US$42 billion of central bank funding to help authorities buy unsold homes. 

Vanke received a 20 billion yuan loan from state lenders including China Merchants Bank Co, according to a statement sent in response to questions from Bloomberg News. It’s already received half of the funding and pledged shares in unit Vanke Logistics Development for the borrowing. 

The latest deal brings the total of loans that Vanke and its units have taken out this month to nearly 28 billion yuan, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on public filings. Earlier this week, it had withdrawn a smaller loan from Bank of China’s branch in Shenzhen city for a development project. 

State-backed Vanke was once China’s largest developer but has become the latest flashpoint in the nation’s prolonged property crisis, underscoring the severity of the sector’s challenges. It faced close investor scrutiny earlier this year, after concerns about its private debt maturities sparked a series of bond sell-offs. 

Investor sentiment towards China’s property sector has brightened after the government laid out its latest rescue package. The measures include a relending programme to help local governments buy excess inventory, a removal of the nationwide mortgage rate floor, and lower downpayment requirements. 

The city of Shenzhen also relaxed personal income tax and and social-insurance payment requirements for buyers in some districts.

Vanke could get “an outsized liquidity boost” from the government’s support, according to a note from Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Kristy Hung on Monday.

The latest loan will help Vanke further improve liquidity and push forward fundraising, the company said in the statement. Vanke is “confident” about its debt issue, it added.


  - Bloomberg


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