(Bloomberg) -- China’s third largest developer by sales received its second credit downgrade in as many days, highlighting concerns over builders once perceived as safer bets.
Sunac China Holdings Ltd. was dropped a notch to BB- by S&P Global Ratings on Friday, following the same move by Fitch Ratings the previous day. Both credit assessors’ outlook is negative. They cited uncertainty about the developer’s 2022 liquidity, with S&P saying that though it believes Sunac can meet this year’s debt maturities, “the margin of error is eroding.”
Sunac declined to comment.
A prolonged liquidity crunch has left investors increasingly worried that even higher-rated and larger builders may suffer. A reported failed convertible bond deal by heavyweight Country Garden Holdings Co. last week sent higher-rated developers’ dollar bonds plunging to record lows, stirring worries that financing channels had become restrictive even for strong firms. Its notes climbed Friday amid broader gains after announcing a $500 million convertible-bond deal.
Chinese Builder Sunac Sees Financial Worries Rise to the Surface
Fitch said Thursday that Sunac’s access to debt capital markets is “largely closed.” The builder sold shares at a 15% discount earlier this month, sending its shares and dollar bonds plunging. The firm subsequently announced it had no short-term plan to issue any further shares.
S&P’s afternoon downgrade announcement didn’t cut into Friday gains for Sunac’s stocks and debt. Shares rose more than 4% and dollar bonds maintained an increase of nearly 3 cents on the dollar, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg.
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