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Country Garden seeks to add grace period for maturing yuan bond

Country Garden Holdings has proposed a grace period of 40 calendar days for a maturing yuan bond, marking the distressed Chinese developer’s latest effort to avoid what would be its maiden default.

The property giant made the proposal for holders of the note to vote at a meeting to be held on August 31 by the latest, according to a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s private disclosure platform that was seen by Bloomberg News. The bond, which carries an original maturity date of September 2, a Saturday, will effectively come due on September 4.

If Country Garden were to succeed in getting the grace period added, it said in the filing that any payment within that period of the bond’s “principal and/or interest,” or securing an extension, would not trigger a default.

Country Garden didn’t immediately offer comment when reached by Bloomberg News.

The latest extension proposal by Country Garden, whose worsening cash crunch has shaken Chinese markets in recent weeks, comes after the developer asked earlier this month to stretch payment of the bond’s 3.9 billion yuan ($535 million) of outstanding principal into 2026. A payment miss by China’s former top builder would impact the country’s housing market even more than China Evergrande Group’s late 2021 default as Country Garden has four times as many projects.

Bondholders are set to vote on the proposal at a meeting between August 29 and 31, according to the filing detailing the agenda. Country Garden earlier pushed back the deadline for holding the meeting from August 25 as originally scheduled.

© 2023 Bloomberg

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