Six Singapore-listed China firms can’t repay debt

Shelley Smith & Stanley James

Six of the 11 Chinese companies listed in Singapore that sold convertible bonds between 2005 and 2008 have said they are unable to repay debts, the South China Morning Post reported, citing an investor association official.

The Securities Investors Association of Singapore asked the Chinese government to discipline the companies since Singapore doesn’t have the authority to do so, Chairman David Gerald said, according to the Hong Kong-based newspaper. The association represents 4,000 small shareholders, the report said.

Steel group Delong Holdings Ltd. and developer Sunshine Holdings Ltd. have reorganized their finances, while the other four companies are negotiating with creditors, the report said.

Delong said in September that it planned to restructure about 1.5 billion yuan ($220 million) of convertible bonds due in 2012 and Sunshine Holdings said in the same month that it reached a settlement agreement on $120 million of loans.

Delong Holdings Chairman Ding Liguo didn’t return calls from Bloomberg News seeking comment today while Foo Soon Soo, joint secretary for Sunshine Holdings, declined to comment.

China Printing & Dyeing Holdings Ltd., China Milk Products Group Ltd., Sino-Environment Technology Group Ltd. and FerroChina Ltd. are the other companies named by the SCMP.

China Printing said Oct. 26 it was in restructuring talks with a potential investor, then said Jan. 21 that the Singapore Exchange ordered it to delist by Feb. 12. China Milk said on Jan. 5 that it wouldn’t be able to meet a repayment deadline for convertible bonds due in 2012 because it was awaiting approval from China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

Sino-Environment, a provider of waste-treatment services, said in July that it couldn’t pay interest on S$149 million ($106 million) of convertible bonds and asked creditors for more time to review its finances. Steelmaker FerroChina Ltd. said on Dec. 17 that the Singapore bourse asked it to delist after saying in October 2008 that it was unable to repay 706 million yuan of loans amid the credit crisis.

Calls to the offices of China Milk, China Printing, Sino- Environment and FerroChina weren’t immediately answered.

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