© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign of the Kaisa Group Holdings is seen at the Shanghai Kaisa Financial Center, in Shanghai, China, December 7, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song
By Clare Jim and Karin Strohecker
HONG KONG/LONDON (Reuters) – Ratings agency Fitch downgraded property developers China Evergrande Group and Kaisa Group on Thursday, saying they had defaulted on offshore bonds, while a source said Kaisa had started work on restructuring its $12 billion offshore debt.
The downgrades to so-called “restricted default” status come even though Evergrande and Kaisa have not officially announced defaults that could result in drawn-out debt restructuring processes.
The fate of Evergrande, which has more than $300 billion in liabilities, and other indebted Chinese property companies has gripped financial markets in recent months amid fears of knock-on effects around the world, although Beijing has repeatedly…