HomeMost PopularVanke's Financial Turbulence amid Credit Struggle

Vanke’s Financial Turbulence amid Credit Struggle

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By Engen Tham, Ziyi Tang and Clare Jim

A Beijing Directive Sparks a Frenzy for Collateral

Vanke, a state-backed Chinese property giant, finds itself in dire straits as a rare Beijing mandate aimed at averting a liquidity crisis has set off a scramble among lenders seeking collateral provided by the developer. With sales plummeting below the critical threshold required to sustain operations, Vanke faces a pressing need for funding, as revealed in a leaked internal memo.

Facing the brunt of a protracted crisis that has gripped Chinaโ€™s property sector since mid-2021, Vankeโ€™s woes reflect the broader challenges that have plagued the industry. Despite efforts by local authorities to stimulate sales and inject liquidity, many developers have found themselves unable to meet debt obligations, leading to defaults.

Lenders Seek Assurance in Collateral

Regulators have intervened by urging financial institutions to bolster support for Vanke, the countryโ€™s second-largest property developer by sales. In response, Vanke has proffered a list of primarily commercial projects, such as shopping malls, along with their revenue streams, to entice potential lenders. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and other banks are in preliminary discussions to extend credit, with ICBC considering a loan of up to 80 billion yuan.

Seeking to cushion their exposure, lenders are meticulously assessing Vankeโ€™s high-value assets. Simultaneously, insurers holding Vankeโ€™s debt are demanding additional collateral before agreeing to extend maturities, signaling a shift towards a more cautious approach, even with relatively stable and state-linked developers.

The Uphill Battle for Vanke

Despite analystsโ€™ estimates placing the value of Vankeโ€™s unencumbered commercial properties at 77 billion to 90 billion yuan, the developerโ€™s ability to borrow substantially hinges on the quality of collateral provided. Repayment of upcoming bond maturities appears manageable, but concerns loom over Vankeโ€™s long-term debt obligations, including a sizable amount due in 2025.

Market Sentiment and Vankeโ€™s Standing

Vankeโ€™s financial troubles have emerged against the backdrop of defaults by several prominent peers, such as China Evergrande Group and Country Garden, amid an industry-wide sales slump. A significant drop in sales during January and February further underscores the sectorโ€™s challenges, potentially eroding confidence among investors and homebuyers.

Despite being state-supported and widely perceived as financially robust due to its extensive presence across major cities, Vankeโ€™s struggles have prompted it to seek leniency from creditors, including prominent insurers like Taikang Insurance and state-owned entities.

Seeking Solace in Strategic Partnerships

In a bid to shore up confidence, Vanke recently announced an investment commitment from its top shareholder, Shenzhen Metro, backing a real estate investment trust tied to a shopping mall in Hangzhou. While seen as a vote of confidence, the move also suggests a cautious approach towards Vankeโ€™s other business lines.

($1 = 7.1954 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Clare Jim, Julie Zhu, and Xie Yu in Hong Kong, Engen Tham and Steven Bian in Shanghai, Ziyi Tang and Kevin Huang in Beijing; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Christopher Cushing)


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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