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Wanda raises $400 mln in dollar bonds in milestone for China property sector

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SYDNEY/HONG KONG — Dalian Wanda Commercial Management raised $400 million in a U.S. dollar bond, a term sheet seen by Reuters showed, in the first publicly sold dollar bond by a Chinese property-related firm since late 2021 when the sector’s debt crisis came to a head.

The company is the property services arm of commercial property developer Dalian Wanda Group.

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Investor confidence in China’s property sector has been hit by a string of debt defaults, and bond exchanges to extend repayments since late 2021 when the liquidity troubles of China Evergrande Group deepened, leaving companies little room to raise fresh funds offshore.

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Final pricing for Wanda’s 11%, two-year bond was set with a yield of 12.375%, compared to the initial price guidance given to investors of 12.625%, the term sheet showed.

A presentation by Wanda Commercial Management Group seen by Reuters said the book received 3.7 times over-subscription, with $500 million orders from long-only funds, including Blackrock, Fidelity, Pictet AM, Invesco and PAG.

“This deal reopened the dormant China property and high-yield bond market, and received an active and positive reaction,” it added.

Dalian Wanda Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment while its commercial management arm could not be immediately reached.

Blackrock, Fidelity, Pictet AM and PAG did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Invesco declined to comment.

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Unlike many other Chinese developers who focus on residential projects, Dalian Wanda Group relies on rental income and has an asset-light model. Wanda will use the proceeds to refinance existing debt and for general corporate purposes, according to the term sheet.

Moody’s assigned a rating of Ba3 to the notes, while Fitch Ratings assigned BB. Both are high-yield grades.

S&P Global said in a conference call Wanda’s issuance represented a good signal to the market, and it was positive for corporates to have multiple financing channels even though the offshore rates could be higher than onshore now. (Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Sydney and Clare Jim in Hong Kong; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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