ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Bakries say ‘no easy fixes’ to Bumi default
Indonesia’s Bakrie family, whose companies suffered their third default in two years, said its debts were being “proactively managed” with creditor support.
Bakrie-controlled PT Bumi Resources stoked concern among debt investors last week by delaying a coupon payment on US$700 million of dollar-denominated notes, prompting Standard & Poor’s to cut the bonds’ credit rating to default. Bumi, Indonesia’s biggest thermal-coal exporter, will not pay the overdue amount of $37.6 million until Nov. 28, Standard & Poor’s said.
“General discussions show creditors understand there are no easy fixes,” Chris Fong, a Jakarta-based spokesman for the group said in an e-mail Wednesday as reported by Bloomberg. “They know the assets are world class, prices simply need to improve, and they will,” he said, referring to Bumi Resources.
Coal prices have tumbled 26.6 percent this year to $61.85 a ton, capping a 51-percent slide since the end of 2010.
Bumi’s 10.75 percent of $700 million notes due October 2017 were little changed at 30.841 cents on the dollar as of 12:02 p.m. in Hong Kong, according to Bloomberg-compiled prices. They fell 4.82 cents in five days to 30.802 cents yesterday, the lowest level since being sold to investors at par in September 2010.
PT Bakrieland Development and PT Bakrie Telecom missed payments on $535 million of bonds last year.
Fong said while downgrades are to be expected during difficult market conditions, the coal industry is being transformed and quality assets such as those held by Bumi Resources will survive and become even stronger.
“The Bakrie family has always taken the long view, our bankers know this,” Fong said. “We don’t see this position changing.”2
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