Evergrande continues to wobble this week as bondholders said the imperiled property developer missed a key payment deadline, according to a Bloomberg report.
The report, citing people familiar with the matter, said that a Chinese company co-owned by Evergrande, called Jumbo Fortune Enterprises, had missed payment on a $260 million bond. The news pushed Evergrande's bonds to new lows – now trading at less than a quarter on the dollar.
Specifics on the privately issued bond were hard to come by, but the episode signaled to markets that a partial default may be likelier than previously expected. Observers have for weeks wondered whether the Chinese government will intervene to prop up Evergrande, after it told the company to avoid a near-term default.
Reports of Evergrande's missed payment came just days after the unexpected default of another property firm called Fantasia Holdings Group. Fantasia failed to repay a $206 million bond on Monday, prompting ratings firms to downgrade its debt to default status.
"We believe the existence of these bonds means that [Fantasia's] liquidity situation could be tighter than we previously expected," Fitch analysts wrote in a Monday note downgrading the company to CCC, or substantial credit risk.
Analysts are now eyeing other possible defaults in the Chinese property sector, which could portend a wave of failures or sweeping government intervention. For instance, another developer called Xinyuan Real Estate has a $229 million bond due on October 15, according to Bloomberg.