Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Spain Ignores Scotland Lesson as Catalan Independence Referendum Could Spark Civil War - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Used Car Buying From UK Dealer Top Tips, CarMotion.co.uk Real Customer Experience - N_Walayat
3.Spanish New Civil War Begins as Madrid Regime Storm Troopers Quell Catalan Independence Rebellion - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Virgin Media Broadband Down, Catastrophic UK Wide Failure! - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Are the US Markets setting up for an Early October Surprise? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.The Pension Storm Is Coming To Europe—It May Be The End Of Europe As We Know It -John_Mauldin
7.Stock Market Crash 2018; Will it Prove to be Another Buying Opportunity - Sol_Palha
8.The Profoundly Personal Impact Of The National Debt On Our Retirements - Dan_Amerman
9.Stock Market as Good as it Gets; Like 2000 With a Twist -Gary_Tanashian
10.1987 Stock Market Crash 30th Anniversary Greatest Investing Lesson Learned - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
Bitcoin Hits $6,000, $100 Billion Market Cap As Helicopter Ben and Jamie Demon Warn The End Is Near! - 22nd Oct 17
Time for Caution in Gold Miners - 22nd Oct 17
“Great Rotation” Ahead; Will it Be Inflationary or Deflationary? - 21st Oct 17
The Trigger for Volatility, Rates and the Next Crisis - 21st Oct 17
Perks to Consider an Agent for Auto Insurance - 21st Oct 17
Emerging Megatrends Hurting Consumers - 21st Oct 17
A Catalyst of the Stock Market Bubble Bust - 21st Oct 17
Silver Stocks Comatose - 21st Oct 17
Stock Investors Ignore What May Be The Biggest Policy Error In History - 20th Oct 17
Gold Up 74% Since Last Stock Market Peak 10 Years Ago - 20th Oct 17
Labour Sheffield City Council Employs Army of Spy's to Track Down Tree Campaigners / Felling's Watchers - 20th Oct 17
Stock Market Calm Before The Storm - 20th Oct 17
GOLD Price Creates Bullish Higher Low - 20th Oct 17
Here’s the US’s Biggest Vulnerability in NAFTA Negotiations - 20th Oct 17
The Greatest Investing Lesson Learned from the 1987 Stock Market Crash - 20th Oct 17
Stock Market Time to Go All-in. Short, That Is - 19th Oct 17
How Gold Bullion Protects From Conflict And War - 19th Oct 17
Stock Market Super Cycle Wave C May Have Started - 19th Oct 17
Negative Expectations, Will the Stock Market Correct? - 19th Oct 17
Knowing the Factors Affect your Car Insurance Premium - 19th Oct 17
Getting Your Feet Wet In Crypto Currencies - 19th Oct 17
10 Years Ago Today a Stocks Bear Market Started - 19th Oct 17
1987 Stock Market Crash 30th Anniversary Greatest Investing Lesson Learned - 19th Oct 17
Virgin Media Broadband Down, Catastrophic UK Wide Failure! - 19th Oct 17
The Passive Investing Bubble May Trigger A Massive Exodus from Stocks - 18th Oct 17
Gold Is In A Dangerous Spot - 18th Oct 17
History Says Global Debt Levels Will Lead to Another Crisis - 18th Oct 17
Deflation Basics Series: The Quantity Theory of Money - 18th Oct 17
Attractive European Countries for Foreign Investors - 18th Oct 17
Financial Transcription Services – What investors should know about them - 18th Oct 17
Brexit UK Vulnerable As Gold Bar Exports Distort UK Trade Figures - 18th Oct 17
Surge in UK Race Hate Crimes, Micro-Racism, Sheffield, Millhouses Park, Black on Asian - 18th Oct 17
Comfortably Numb: Surviving the Assault on Silver - 17th Oct 17
Are Amey Street Tree Felling's Devaluing Sheffield House Prices? - 17th Oct 17
12 Real-Life Techniques That Will Make You a Better Trader Now - 17th Oct 17
Warren Buffett Predicting Dow One Million - Being Bold Or Overly Cautious? - 17th Oct 17
Globalization is Poverty - 17th Oct 17
Boomers Are Not Saving Enough for Retirement, Neither Is the Government - 16th Oct 17
Stock Market Trading Dow Theory - 16th Oct 17
Stocks Slightly Higher as They Set New Record Highs - 16th Oct 17
Why is Big Data is so Important for Casino Player Acquisition and Retention - 16th Oct 17
How Investors Can Play The Bitcoin Boom - 16th Oct 17
Who Will Be the Next Fed Chief - And Why It Matters  - 16th Oct 17
Stock Market Only Minor Top Ahead - 16th Oct 17
Precious Metals Sector is on Major Buy Signal - 16th Oct 17
Really Bad Ideas - The Fed Should Have And Defend An Inflation Target - 16th Oct 17
The Bullish Chartology for Gold - 15th Oct 17
Wikileaks Mocking US Government Over Bitcoin Shows Why There Is No Stopping Bitcoin - 15th Oct 17
How to Wipe Out Puerto Rico's Debt Without Hurting Bondholders - 15th Oct 17
Gold And Silver – Think Prices Are Manipulated? Look In The Mirror! - 15th Oct 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

3 Videos + 8 Charts = Opportunities You Need to See - Free

Commercial Real Estate Market in Limbo as Lenders Ignore Defaults

Interest-Rates / Corporate Bonds Apr 01, 2009 - 03:21 AM GMT

By: Mike_Shedlock

Interest-Rates Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThere is a new twist in commercial real estate action today. Lenders are ignoring defaults of $billions on commercial real estate as if nothing happened, praying that credit conditions will improve.


Please consider General Growth Avoids Chapter 11 .
General Growth Properties Inc., struggling under a mountain of debt, said Monday that its latest effort to win a reprieve from bondholders had fallen short.

Under normal circumstances a company with as much past-due debt as General Growth would have been forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by now. Creditors so far have been willing to let deadlines pass because they believe there is little to be gained and much to be lost through a bankruptcy.

"This is really rare," said Kevin Starke, an analyst at CRT Capital Group LLC, a research company that tracks distressed securities. "It is corporate-bond limbo like I've never seen before."

Many creditors say that General Growth's management is doing a good job running the company. Its 200 U.S. malls, a portfolio second in size only to Simon Property Group Inc., generate enough cash to cover interest on the debt. But its properties are overleveraged and it lacks the borrowing capacity to retire those debts as their principal comes due.

"There's no question that General Growth is a liquidity issue," said Jeff Spector, an analyst with UBS AG. "The properties, for the most part, aren't broken."

My Comment : Jeff Spector, UBS AG analyst is dead wrong. This is not a liquidity issue. This is solvency issue. The properties are indeed broken. They are broken by debt.

There is more debt on those properties than can possibly be paid back. No one will possibly buy them for the amount owed. And every day that passes the value of those commercial properties sinks. Bondholders are only delaying the inevitable.

General Growth, based in Chicago, isn't the only real-estate borrower that is getting a reprieve from its lenders these days. Hundreds of property owners have had loans come due without a repayment made in recent months. But most lenders have agreed to extend loan terms, hoping that the credit market will improve.

Australian shopping-center owner Centro Properties Group, which owns 650 U.S. open-air shopping centers, last year sought one short-term extension after another.

Finally, in December, after nine extensions, it averted a liquidation by agreeing to eventually grant its lenders 90% of its stock in exchange for two and three-year payment extensions on $7 billion of debt.

My Comment : Boom, just like that, Centro lost 90% just to get a debt extension of 3 years.

To be sure, General Growth may still be forced to seek bankruptcy protection soon. Trying to dig out from under $27 billion in debt, the company until this month has had the relative luxury of negotiating primarily with dozens of banks on more than $4 billion of past-due debt and debt that could become due because of other defaults.

General Growth became even more vulnerable after a March 16 deadline passed for repaying $395 million in bonds. Now, rather than dealing only with several dozen banks holding past-due debt, General Growth must negotiate with hundreds of bondholders. Some holders bought the bonds at face value and are hoping for a recovery. Others bought the bonds at depressed prices and might want to force a liquidation to receive a quicker payout.

My Comment : Any bondholder hoping for recovery is delusional.

On Monday, General Growth said that it concluded efforts to get holders of $2.25 billion of bonds to grant it a nine-month reprieve from paying principal and interest on those bonds. It had three times extended the deadline on its so-called "consent solicitation" because not enough bond holders signed up.

In exchange, General Growth offered the bondholders quarterly payments of 62.5 cents for every $1,000 of bonds, with interest accruing. But that offer wasn't accepted because many bondholders were unwilling to forfeit their ability to demand immediate payment for nine months, these people said.

The result is an unusual situation in which borrowers have allowed the due date for corporate bonds to pass without the issuer either paying them or filing for bankruptcy protection. Often when a company defaults on corporate bonds, bondholders will force an involuntary bankruptcy petition.

A person familiar with the bondholder talks said that, while some creditors are angry, none appears ready to insist on an involuntary bankruptcy petition yet. It is possible that bondholders didn't go along with the consent solicitation primarily because they feared that making such a pledge would reduce the value of their bonds.

Credit Market Hope Is Moot

The lenders are hoping that the credit market will improve. I have news for them: It won't.

Moreover, even if credit does free up, what is the likelihood that General Growth Properties can meet their debt schedule?

The value of that property is sinking every day while debt due and interest on the debt due is rising every day. No lenders will refinance if the debt exceeds the value of the property. Therefore, bondholder hope for improved credit conditions is moot.

A forced bankruptcy is coming either sooner or later.

Time Limit On Limbo

Many regional banks are at risk over ludicrous deals like this. Indeed, huge writeoffs are coming, not just on this property but on countless commercial real estate properties.

What ridiculous mark-to-fantasy values are the creditors placing on this debt anyway? Creditors' reluctance to force bankruptcy suggests far too much.

However, the debt clock is ticking and creditor patience is not unlimited. There is a time limit on limbo. I suspect we are going to find out what that limbo time limit is sooner, rather than later.

By Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

Click Here To Scroll Thru My Recent Post List

Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management . Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.

Visit Sitka Pacific's Account Management Page to learn more about wealth management and capital preservation strategies of Sitka Pacific.

I do weekly podcasts every Thursday on HoweStreet and a brief 7 minute segment on Saturday on CKNW AM 980 in Vancouver.

When not writing about stocks or the economy I spends a great deal of time on photography and in the garden. I have over 80 magazine and book cover credits. Some of my Wisconsin and gardening images can be seen at MichaelShedlock.com .

© 2009 Mike Shedlock, All Rights Reserved

Mike Shedlock Archive

© 2005-2017 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife