Financials Blackrock, HSBC and UBS are among the biggest bond holders of Chinese real estate giant Evergrande, according to data shared Thursday by research firm Morningstar. The firm, which has analyzed the Evergrande exposures of the six largest high-yield bond funds in Asia, notes that those three management firms have been “piling up” debt of the Chinese giant in recent months.
Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, added 31.3 million Evergrande securities to its portfolio between January and August this year but its impact is down to 1% of its fund’s assets due to the drop in value.
HSBC’s Asia high-yield bond fund increased its position in Evergrande by 40% between January and July, the latest date for which Morningstar Direct has data, with China then accounting for 1.22% of its assets. As for UBS, it only indicated that it increased its position in Evergrande by 25% through May, the latest date available.
The crisis of Evergrande, China’s leading real estate developer, threatens to give a major economic setback to the Asian country if it fails to meet the millionaire payments of about 110 million euros (this Thursday has to pay 71 million) to be faced between this week and next.
By contrast, the other major bondholders of the Chinese giant, Fidelity, PIMCO and Allianz, sold large amounts of securities between January and July, contributing to a downward trend in exposure to the indebted real estate developer.
Evergrande announced Thursday that it will make interest payments on yuan-denominated bonds equivalent to $36 million, but has not confirmed whether it will do the same with other dollar-denominated offshore bonds. This Thursday is also the due date of these offshore bonds for a value of 84 million dollars, which added to the complicated financial situation that Evergrande is facing on the horizon, makes the markets fear a suspension of payments.
The Chinese company has some $37 billion of loans due to be repaid before the end of the first half of 2022, a fraction of its total liabilities, which amount to more than $300 billion. As revealed by The Wall Street Journal, the Chinese government appears reluctant to bail out the company and is asking local authorities across the country to prepare for “a potential storm.”