Sino-Ocean Land bond issue to raise 2.6b yuan

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 June, 2009, 12:00am

Sino-Ocean Land Holdings, the largest developer in Beijing, has received approval to raise 2.6 billion yuan (HK$2.95 billion) from corporate bond issues on the mainland.

The developer said yesterday it had been given approval by the National Development and Reform Commission to issue domestic corporate bonds. The proceeds would be used to invest in property development projects, repay bank borrowings and for general working capital.

The six-year yuan bonds would be issued to domestic institutional investors. The coupon rate for the first three years would be fixed at 4.4 to 5 per cent. Sino-Ocean Land would have an option to increase the coupon rate by 0 to 100 basis points by the end of the third year.

Christina Ngai, an analyst at Sun Hung Kai Securities, said the bonds were expected to be used for land acquisitions and repayment of long-term debts, adding: 'Land prices on the mainland are increasing. Sino-Ocean Land needs to issue the bonds now or they will miss the chance to acquire development sites at a lower price.'

Last month, chief executive Li Ming said Sino-Ocean Land had more than 10 billion yuan cash on hand to buy new sites this year. The company has a land bank of about 9.9 million square metres, sufficient for development over six years. Its net gearing ratio was about 40 per cent at the end of last year.

Other major developers have received approval for increased credit lines from banks or raised fresh money from equity or bond markets in recent months. Soho China has secured a combined 20 billion yuan in credit lines from two banks this year.

Ms Ngai said more mainland developers are expected to raise money from the equity market, as many planned to acquire development sites this year after a recovery in the property market.

Sino-Ocean Land rose 0.13 per cent to HK$7.95 yesterday.