China Asks Citic Group to Examine Huarong’s Finances
Charlie Zhu, Zheng Li, Jun Luo, and Heng Xie, 28 June 2021
China has asked one of its biggest state-owned conglomerates to examine the finances of China Huarong Asset Management Co., people familiar with the matter said, adding a new twist to the drama that has roiled the world’s second-largest credit market for months.
Citic Group, whose businesses span everything from banking to securities and mining, recently dispatched a team to Huarong to pore over the embattled distressed-debt manager’s books, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. Continue reading “Article: China Asks Citic Group to Examine Huarong’s Finances”
China Considers New Holding Company for Huarong, Bad-Debt Managers
Bloomberg News, 01 June 2021
China’s finance ministry is considering a proposal to transfer its shares in China Huarong Asset Management Co. and three other bad-debt managers to a new holding company modeled after the one that owns the government’s stakes in state-run banks, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Policy makers are re-examining the proposal, which was first tabled three years ago, as part of discussions on how to deal with the financial risks posed by Huarong, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.
Some officials view the creation of a holding company as a step toward separating the government’s roles as a regulator and shareholder, streamlining oversight and instilling a more professional management culture at Huarong and its peers, the person said. Continue reading “Article: China Considers New Holding Company for Huarong, Bad-Debt Managers”
Huarong Wires $978 Million to Repay Bonds as Doubts Persist
Bloomberg News, 31 May 2021
China Huarong Asset Management Co. made the biggest bond payment since confidence in its financial health began plunging two months ago, adding to signs that the company still has access to near-term liquidity.
Huarong wired funds for a $900 million dollar bond due June 3, a person familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. One of the company’s onshore units also paid a 500 million yuan ($78 million) bond that matured Sunday, people familiar said. Continue reading “Article: Huarong Wires $978 Million to Repay Bonds as Doubts Persist”
How the Big Three Rating Companies Got China Huarong So Wrong
Shuli Ren, 29 April 2021
After the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the Big Three rating companies were blamed for their enabling roles in the subprime mortgage crisis. Troubled securitized products would not have been marketed and sold without their seal of investment-grade approval. In fact, investors relied on their ratings, often blindly.
Over a decade later, similar drama is unfolding with state-owned China Huarong Asset Management Co. After failing to release its 2020 financials on time amid media reports of a deep restructuring, the distressed-asset manager became a distressed asset itself. Its 4.5% perpetual bond is trading at 70 cents on the dollar, not at all aligned with its safe-as-cash ratings. With $22 billion in dollar bonds outstanding, Huarong has issues due every month into the summer. Continue reading “Article: How the Big Three Rating Companies Got China Huarong So Wrong”
Why China ‘Bad Bank’ Huarong’s Fall Is Big Bad News: QuickTake
Rebecca Choong Wilkins, 18April 2021
What happens when a company set up by the Chinese government to help clean up toxic debt in the country’s banking system gets into trouble itself? We’re finding out now. Investors were spooked in April after China Huarong Asset Management Co., one of the country’s biggest distressed asset managers, failed to release financial statements in the wake of the execution of its former top executive for bribery. That raised questions about its financial health — and broader worries about whether China would let an institution backed by the central government fail. The ending of a presumed safety net that’s long been priced into Chinese bond values would mean a seismic shift for investors across emerging markets. Continue reading “Article: Why China ‘Bad Bank’ Huarong’s Fall Is Big Bad News: QuickTake”
Hong Kong Hit by Dozens of Trading Halts After Earnings Deadline
Bloomberg News, 01 April 2021
Trading in more than 50 Hong Kong-listed companies was suspended on Thursday, after a number of firms failed to report earnings ahead of the March 31 deadline.
GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd. and China Huarong Asset Management Co. were among the firms that announced a trading halt. GCL-Poly said additional time is required to complete its audit procedures while Huarong said it will delay delivering its earnings as it seeks to complete a transaction. While it’s not uncommon for some companies in Hong Kong to have to suspend trading on April 1, the number this year compares with at least 9 last year and 25 in 2019. Continue reading “Article: Hong Kong Hit by Dozens of Trading Halts After Earnings Deadline”