Another Chinese oil firm has defaulted on a dollar-denominated bond, bringing the total value of defaults in all sectors of China’s offshore bond market to US$4 billion so far this year, more than double the value of defaults in the same period last year, Bloomberg estimates.
Oil equipment and oil services company Hilong Holding said on Monday that it is defaulting on a US$165-million bond after an insufficient percentage of noteholders had agreed to swap the notes with new debt. The minimum acceptable level of noteholders to agree to the debt exchange offer was 80 percent, while just 63.45 percent had agreed to tender notes for the exchange offer.
“As previously announced, without a consummation of the Exchange Offer, the Company does not and will not have alternative financing means available to repay the Existing Notes upon maturity,” which was June 22, the company said.
Hilong Holding is currently assessing the impact of the default on its other indebtedness, it said.
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Earlier this month, Fitch Ratings downgraded Hilong Holding’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating to CC from B to reflect the high refinancing risk related to the US$165-million 7.25% senior unsecured notes due on June 22. According to Fitch, low oil prices may result in a longer-term deterioration in Hilong Holding’s credit metrics as sales decline and margins contract.
The low oil prices and the economic slowdown from the COVID-19 pandemic have hit the finances of Chinese companies, including such in the oil industry, and defaults in its so-called offshore bond market have accelerated in recent months.
Last month, Hong Kong-listed oil exploration firm MIE Holdings Corporation defaulted on a dollar-denominated bond, becoming the first victim from the oil sector in China’s offshore bond market. Independent oil refiner Shandong Qingyuan Group later also failed to pay a principal installment of a US$1-billion loan.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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