Longfor Group said its 1.5 billion yuan ($219 million) bonds had been priced at a coupon rate of 3.3%, marking the first sale by a private Chinese homebuilder of notes fully guaranteed by the state to boost market sentiment amid a sector-wide cash crunch. Beijing has stepped up support for the property sector on worries that a deepening debt crisis and defaults could impact property developers regarded as financially sound. The offering was guaranteed by state-owned China Bond Insurance Co Ltd.
Some of China's state-backed financial institutions are pushing back on Beijing's calls to support the embattled property sector due to concerns about the impact of such exposure on their balance sheets, seven people with knowledge of the matter said. Without explicit financial backstop from Beijing, senior executives at some of the institutions are wary of engaging with cash-strapped developers and later dealing with potential losses of their own, said two of the sources. Signing off on financial support to struggling developers has become a concern as employees are increasingly held accountable by authorities for poor lending and investment decisions, said the two sources.
Chinese regulators have instructed state-owned China Bond Insurance Co. Ltd. to provide guarantees for onshore bond issuance by a few private property developers including Longfor Group and CIFI Holdings, according to four sources with knowledge of the matter. The support from the state comes amid mounting concerns that a deepening debt crisis and defaults in the sector could impact property developers that have been regarded as financially sound. Property developers' shares surged on Tuesday following the news, with Longfor, CIFI and top developer Country Garden all jumping over 15%.