The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels (HSH) has recently agreed a new five-year syndicated loan facility in excess of HK$2.0 billion ($258 million) with HSBC, Standard Chartered, BNP and Bank of China. The move will enable the company to repay a HK$1.32 billion convertible bond that is set to mature in January 2001. None of the bondholders are expected to convert their holdings into shares, with the shares currently trading well below the HK$12.80 conversion price of the bonds.
"We have just signed a mandate letter with four banks for a HK$2.0 billion-HK$2.5 billion syndicated loan that will refinance the convertible bonds in January and leave us with a lot more refinancing capacity as well," says Rodney Smyth, chief financial officer and director of finance and corporate services at HSH.
At end-1999, HSH had net borrowings of HK$6.42 billion, down from HK$6.70 billion a year earlier. Interest cover in 1999 was 1.5 times, compared with 3.7 times in 1998. HSH's shares last traded at HK$4.15.