According to Reuters, China’s major property developer, Shimao missed the offshore bond payment deadline of 1 billion dollars on Sunday.

This is the first overdue bond payment that Shimao has missed. The company has an outstanding of 6.1 billion offshore bonds, ranking as the sixth largest bond issuer among Chinese developers.

The missed payment was the latest blow to China’s battered property market.

According to its filing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Sunday, Reuter reported that Shimao failed to pay a total of 1.02 billion dollars in principal and interest of the 4.75% senior notes to overseas creditors. It attributed “market uncertainties over debt refinancing” and “challenging operating and funding conditions” to the problems.

Like many other Chinese real estate firms, Shimao has been in trouble in recent years. It has tried to accelerate its asset disposals for cash.

Earlier this year, Reuters cited Caixin’s report that the firm put all its projects on sale.

​​The company’s signature building, Shimao International Plaza Shanghai, is reportedly sold to a Chinese state-owned company for 1.5 billion dollars.

Multiple Chinese property developers are now facing payment deadlines for billion-dollar debts, fueling the ongoing debt crisis in the sector.

In mid-June, another major China’s real estate developer, Skyfame Realty, also missed an offshore bond payment, citing “unprecedented liquidity pressure.” 

According to Caixin Global, about 200 major Chinese real estate developers have to pay 26 billion dollars of debts in June and July. Among them, 67% come from private developers, and oversea debts account for 56%. 

The timing of the debt payment comes at a time when many property firms are under a liquidity crisis. Many have to ask for debt extension due to limited access to new funding. 

CNBC cited Moody’s, saying it has issued 91 downgrades for high-yield Chinese property developers in the last nine months.

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