Asian firms rush to refinance $69 billion debt due for second quarter

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Companies in Asia, including Japan and China are rushing to raise a record $69.3 billion in a bid to refinance debts in the second quarter, according to a Refinitiv report.

The U.S. Dollar corporate debt which is due to mature in the region is among the highest on record - only surpassed by the $71.4 billion from 2019.  

China’s state-owned oil giant, Sinopec Group has a five-year bond amounting to $2.48 billion. Meanwhile, power utility State Grid has a three-year bond worth $898.5 million. Both borrowings are both due to expire in April.

The SoftBank Group also has a $2.48 billion bond due to mature in April 18. The firm planned to sell $41 billion in assets in order to meet requirements and pay down the debt.

Australian banks active in the U.S. Dollar bond markets such as National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corp have bonds with a combined worth of $3.14 billion due to mature in the same time.

Surging refinancing deals comes as Asia’s debt markets underperform during a virus-led economic turbulence.

While major corporations will likely be able to refinance their debts, bankers believe that low-rated companies may face the most problems.

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