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China Firms Turn to Bank Guarantees to Help Sell Dollar Debt

July 10, 2022, 11:00 PM

Chinese companies have sold a record amount of dollar bonds backstopped by banks, using a unique repayment support mechanism to help raise funds in a market rocked by defaults and surging borrowing costs.

Sales of Chinese dollar notes carrying a standby letter of credit, or SBLC, reached $7 billion in the first half of 2022, nearly triple prior-year levels and the highest in Bloomberg-compiled data going back to 2011. It’s a bright spot in the country’s dollar-debt market, where first-half issuance plunged to the lowestsince 2016.

The surge of SBLC-backed bonds, which effectively carry a lender’s pledge to repay ...