China solar equipment firm warns may miss bond payment

SHANGHAI, May 5:  A Chinese solar equipment firm, Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources Co Ltd, said it may be miss payment on a 1.4 billion yuan five-year note maturing on May 12. The unlisted firm, a subsidiary of New York-listed Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co Ltd, cited consecutive losses as the reason for the potential default. It issued the warning in a statement posted on China’s interbank bond market operator’s website late on Wednesday. Prices for solar power equipment have fallen rapidly in recent years, causing financial problems for several manufacturers. China’s first public bond default in 2014 was by Chaori Solar. Bond defaults have been accelerating in China over the past year and a half, with around 20 firms running into repayment trouble in 2016. Defaults have been concentrated in industries with overcapacity such as steel and cement, but firms in a wide range of sectors have now defaulted as the economy has slowed. Onshore bond yields rose rapidly in April as investors eyed mounting defaults amid less aggressive moves by the central bank to stimulate the economy following better than expected economic data. Chinese firms delayed or cancelled more than 15 billion dollar of new bond issuance in April. Nonetheless, bond and money market yields have retreated somewhat in recent days following large cash injections by the central bank. Last week, the People’s Bank of China injected 267 billion yuan into 18 financial institutions through three- and six-month medium-term lending facility loans. The MLF is a supplementary policy tool the central bank uses to direct liquidity conditions and medium-term interest rates in the banking system and money markets. Reuters’ AA+ rated medium term note index <       AA+CNMT5Y=RR    > was up nine basis points on Thursday, but otherwise broader money and bond markets showed limited reaction to the news. Tianwei Yingli New Energy has been in financial trouble for some time and the note in question was rated C as of October 2015 by Shanghai Brilliance Long-term Issue Credit Rating. (AGENCIES)


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