First bond default in China sparks investor fears

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SHANGHAI: China’s first-ever default on a domestic corporate bond on Friday has sparked legal action by investors owed interest payments from a solar company, their lawyer said.

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Shanghai-based Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology Co. said Tuesday it was unable to make full bond interest payments of 89.8 million yuan ($14.7 million).

Liu Telong, Chaori board secretary, confirmed on Friday that the company was in default, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

The development is being widely described as China’s first ever corporate bond default, but analysts said it could benefit the market in the long term by raising awareness of risk and making investors more selective.

“The default today is already an established fact,” said lawyer Gan Guolong, who represents investors.

“We will definitely help recover bond holders’ interests through relevant legal action,” he added.

Investors had already asked the Higher Court of Guangdong province to order payment from the company, its listing exchange and the lead underwriter for the bond’s initial issue in 2012, he said, but the case was still pending.

Chaori lists both shares and bonds on the Shenzhen exchange in Guangdong.

AFP

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