(Reuters) - Sany Heavy Industry Co Ltd (600031.SS), a major heavy machinery maker controlled by one of China’s richest men, is asking its lenders to waive a financial covenant on $510 million of loans, Basis Point reported, highlighting the growing risks facing the industry in an economic downturn.
Unpaid bills owed to companies in China’s coal, steel and heavy machinery sectors jumped by a fifth in the six months to June as growth in the world’s second-largest economy slowed, reducing manufacturing, and demand for a range of commodities.
Sany, which competes with Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) and Japan’s Komatsu Ltd (6301.T) and which this year bought privately-owned German concrete pump maker Putzmeister for an estimated 360 million euros ($464.6 million), has $160 million in onshore loans and $350 million in offshore loans, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The company, controlled by Liang Wengen - who is worth $8.1 billion, according to Forbes - is asking its lenders to waive the net debt to tangible net worth covenant - one of the terms of its loans - and to respond by the end of next week, Thomson Reuters publication Basis Point reported, citing sources. It did not name the lenders.
According to sources, the current requirement on net debt to tangible net assets is at less than 0.8 times, Basis Point reported.
Officials at Sany, based in the central Chinese province of Hunan and valued at close to $12 billion on the Shanghai stock exchange, could not be reached immediately for comment.
Sany shares last traded down 1.4 percent on Friday in a generally firm overall market. The stock is down 41 percent since end-May, underperforming the CSI300 index .CSI300 of leading Shanghai and Shenzhen stocks, which is down 12.3 percent.
The shares fell to more than 2-year lows late last month after Sany posted a 28 percent drop in second-quarter net profit - its biggest quarterly fall since 2008.
Its loans receivable - amounts creditors expect to be repaid at a specific date - more than doubled to almost 23 billion yuan ($3.63 billion) at end-June from six months earlier.
($1 = 0.7748 euros) ($1 = 6.3296 Chinese yuan)
Reporting by Fang Yan in BEIJING and Kazunori Takada in SHANGHAI; Editing by Ian Geoghegan