August 27, 2018 / 9:04 AM / 9 months ago

Unit of China's HNA makes delayed bond payments

FILE PHOTO: A HNA Group logo is seen on the building of HNA Plaza in Beijing, China February 9, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - An airport operator under the umbrella of China’s debt-laden HNA Group has made full payments on a commercial paper issue after missing a deadline on Friday, amid a jump in defaults that has drawn attention to repayment risks in the country’s corporate bond market.

The Shanghai Clearing House said on Monday it had received interest and principal payments from China’s Haikou Meilan International Airport Co Ltd.

The company had missed a deadline for payments on a 1 billion yuan ($145.48 million) commercial paper issue that matured on Aug. 24.

Haikou Meilan said earlier that it had transferred interest payments worth 54 million yuan into the clearing house’s system on Friday.

However, a second transfer of the commercial paper’s principal was unsuccessful, as the clearing house’s system had closed, the company said.

As of Aug. 21, 18 Chinese companies, mostly private, had defaulted on payments on 37 corporate bonds worth 41.2 billion yuan so far in 2018, adding to worries about risks to the economy as growth slows and a trade war with the United States intensifies.

The sprawling HNA Group announced a management reshuffle earlier this month following the death of its co-chairman, Wang Jian, amid efforts by the conglomerate to slash its large debt burdens and concentrate on its core airlines and tourism businesses.

($1 = 6.8740 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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