China’s property developers are turning to commercial mortgage-backed securities and looking at other alternative financing as creditors grow more discriminating in the face of rising concerns about the country’s real estate and debt markets.
Bond buyers are shying away from second-tier developers because property sales have cooled as the economy slows. The expected bankruptcy of a local developer and the country’s first domestic bond default this month have heightened scrutiny of borrowers.
The property companies have a renewed sense of urgency to raise capital after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen indicated the central bank, which sets the tone globally for borrowing costs, may raise interest rates as early as the spring of 2015, sooner than many investors had anticipated. Higher rates mean higher borrowing costs, both for the companies and for their home-buying customers.
Highlighting the search for alternative funding avenues, property fund MWREF earlier this month issued the first cross-border offering of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) since 2006. The offer was priced at a yield lower than two dollar bonds issued last week, IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication, said.