| SHANGHAI, July 23
SHANGHAI, July 23 China's Huatong Road & Bridge
Group Co Ltd managed to avoid a landmark bond default at the
last minute on Wednesday, raising enough funds to pay off both
principal and interest on a 400 million yuan ($64.51 million)
bond due by the end of the day, sources directly involved in the
issue told Reuters.
However, the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity,
said that while the money deposited in an escrow account with
Shanghai Clearing House would be sufficient to pay off the
bondholders, the company might not make a formal announcement of
the fact on Wednesday.
The sources told Reuters that aggressive fundraising by
Huatong, combined with money contributed from local government
bodies in Shanxi province where Huatong is based, managed to
allow Huatong to dodge what would have been the first-ever
public default in China's interbank bond market, and the first
time a Chinese company defaulted on a bond principal in China.
The company was not immediately available for comment.
Reports of the looming default have further dinged sentiment
in China's already sensitive market for lower-rated private bond
($1 = 6.2010 Chinese Yuan)
(Reporting by Pete Sweeney and the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing
by Kim Coghill)