Singyes $198m bail-out goes through

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A notification issued yesterday by Singyes Solar appeared to indicate the HK$1.55 billion (US$198 million) state bail-out the embattled solar manufacturer and project developer was waiting on has been secured.

Chinese state-owned entity Water Development (HK) Holding Co Ltd was named as the holder of 202.26% of the shares in issue in Singyes in an update to the Hong Kong stock exchange which gave details of the company’s AGM on October 3.

Under the terms of the bail-out, Water Development is due to acquire a 66.92% holding in an enlarged Singyes and the 202% figure hints the shares have been as good as purchased before the resulting stock rearrangement is made.

Trading in Singyes stock was suspended earlier yesterday after the Hong Kong-based company missed the August 31 deadline to publish its first-half figures. That delay came as a knock-on effect after Singyes had been unable to publish its 2018 annual report on time, the company explained.

Singyes, which will face a winding-up petition from creditor Deutsche Bank Hong Kong on October 2, was notifying investors of the annual general meeting agenda due to be voted on a day after the Hong Kong High Court date.

Board members could face rocky vote

The board is seeking a standard-looking mandate to repurchase up to 10% of the issued stock in the Water Development-owned business during the following 12 months and also to issue shares up to the value of 20% of the company stock plus any repurchased holding.

Given the tumultuous time Singyes has had since the bottom dropped out of the Chinese project development market on May 31 last year, it will be interested to see the results of the vote to re-elect chairman and second biggest shareholder Liu Hongwei to the board. Liu, who holds 24% of the pre-bailout stock in Singyes through his Strong Eagle Holdings company, qualifies for a HK$1.8 million annual fee.

Fellow board members Li Hong, Zhuo Jianming and Tan Hong Wei – who each receive a RMB120,000 (US$16,700) fee for their services – will also face a vote.

The Water Development bail-out is one of two central planks in the strategy to turn Singyes Solar’s fortunes around as the board is also attempting to persuade the holders of almost US$430 million in defaulted senior notes and convertible bonds to defer settlement by accepting new notes to the same value.

Singyes yesterday stated the holders of 98.4% of the defaulted payments had accepted the company’s debt restructuring proposal.