Huarong Not Close to Offshore Bond Default, Caixin Editor Says

Huarong Asset Management Co. is “nowhere near” defaulting on its more than $20 billion in offshore bonds, the managing editor of Caixin Media wrote in an opinion piece dated Saturday.

Neither its major shareholder, the Ministry of Finance, nor Chinese regulators would allow the state-owned asset management company to default, Ling Huawei wrote.

Investors are watching to see if the central government will rescue the bad asset manager, after an ill-fated expansion under its former chairman, Lai Xiaomin, who was executed for crimes including bribery in January. The company’s shares were suspended from trading on April 1 after it said it would delay the release of its annual report.

Earlier in May, Caixin reported that Huarong’s plans to dispose of assets, inject liquidity and restructure hadn’t yet received government support. China Huarong International Holdings, a unit of Huarong Asset, said Thursday it had wired funds for principal and interest payment on a $300 million bond.

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