Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Yuan Devaluation Causes Offshore Financing Costs to Spike.

The yuan devaluation on August 10, 2015 was the largest single-day devaluation since 1994.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the daily fix was increased from 6.1162 on Monday to 6.2298 on Tuesday, representing a 1.9% devaluation.[1]  What does that mean for China's offshore debt market?

According to Bloomberg, China's corporations have $529 billion worth of offshore debt.[2]  On Monday, that was worth ¥3,235 billion.  On Tuesday, that was worth ¥3,295 billion, representing a ¥60 billion increase in principle.

According to another Wall Street Journal article, the average interest rate for offshore Chinese debt is higher than 8.00%.[3]  At 8.00%, the $529 billion debt burden would require $42.32 billion in interest payments every year.  On Monday, those interest payments were worth ¥258 billion, but by Tuesday had increased to ¥263 billion.  Overnight, the cost of offshore financing for Chinese companies increased by five billion yuan.  Each news article indicates that Chinese companies have not hedged against currency fluctuations.