After barely making one debt payment last week, and apparently missing another, China Evergrande Group (OTC: EGRN.F) got a reprieve Wednesday -- even as rumors swirled that the company may have missed a third payment today. As Reuters reports today, at least "some" of Evergrande's bondholders say they have not yet received their coupon payments on $47.5 million in interest due from Evergrande Wednesday. Now, that sounds like bad news, but here's the thing: Quoting "sources," Reuters also says (and other media outlets confirm) that Evergrande has reached a deal to sell to state-owned Shenyang Shengjing Finance Investment Group a 1.75 billion-share stake that Evergrande holds in Shengjing Bank.
Scrambling to avoid defaulting on its debts, cash-strapped China Evergrande Group said on Wednesday it plans to sell a 9.99 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) stake in Shengjing Bank Co Ltd to a state-owned asset management company. Shengjing Bank, one of the main lenders to Evergrande, had demanded that all net proceeds from the disposal be used to settle the financial liabilities of the property developer due to the lender, Evergrande said in an exchange filing. That requirement suggests that Evergrande, which missed a bond interest payment last week, will be unable to use the funds for other purposes such as another interest payment to offshore bondholders of $47.5 million due on Wednesday.