Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan warn of Evergrande’s debt woes spillover risks

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FILE PHOTO: An exterior view of China Evergrande Centre in Hong Kong

LONDON (Reuters) -Evergrande Group’s debt crisis could pose spillover risks to the broader Chinese property sector, Goldman Sachs <GS.N> said in a note on Wednesday.

The developer, which has liabilities of nearly two trillion yuan ($305 billion), is trying to raise funds to pay lenders and suppliers as it teeters between a managed collapse and the more distant prospect of a bailout by Beijing.

“We believe that further disruptions to the company’s property development operations can be very negative for sentiment amongst domestic property buyers and investors, and potentially spill over to the broader property sector,” Goldman Sachs’ Kenneth Ho and Chakki Ting wrote in the note.

If the property operations can be maintained as a going concern, that could mean less scope for contagion, the analysts added.

JPMorgan too warned of the risk of repercussions.

“With recent events accelerating to the downside, we believe additional manoeuvres are needed by the government to prevent potential spillover,” the bank said in a separate note, adding that it expected operations to remain ongoing to protect the interests of customers and suppliers.

“If politicians toe the government directives on ensuring a stable housing market, we do not expect the company’s imminent default to be too disruptive for the sector,” JPMorgan said.

Goldman Sachs analysts said possible options for Evergrande could include a corporate overhaul to ensure the onshore operations continue, bringing in third parties to invest in the company, and also potential debt and equity restructuring.

Goldman Sachs said offshore bond market sentiment towards Evergrande was also likely to be affected by recovery prospects under a debt restructuring.

With the company’s U.S. dollar-denominated bonds priced around the mid-20s cents, and those of subsidiary Tianji Holding just below 20, contagion impact may be limited if restructuring prospects were close to current market levels, the analysts wrote.

(Reporting by Tom Arnold and Marc Jones; Editing by Pravin Char and Steve Orlofsky)

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