China's central bank devalued the yuan <CNY=CFXS> in a surprise move on Tuesday, driving the currency to a 4-year low and raising concerns over a spike in financing costs for developers with high overseas debt ratios. The Chinese currency has lost some 3.1 percent since Tuesday.
Analysts said around 40 percent of developers' total debts were denominated in U.S. or Hong Kong dollars as of the end of 2014, with China Overseas Land & Investment (>> China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd.) and China Resources Land's (>> China Resources Land Limited) ratios at more than 70 percent.
"Debt servicing will be more costly, but developers will not really suffer that much. Those with higher offshore debt exposure are also the stronger players in the sector and they have enough buffer, so there won't be a big impact on their credit profile," S&P's corporate ratings senior director Christopher Yip told a telephone conference.
Yip said increasing issuance in the onshore corporate bond market will help to alleviate some pressure on funding costs.
S&P on Friday raised its forecast on China's property sales growth to 5 to 10 percent on expectations the sector will continue to recover, supported by stimulus policies.
The rating agency also revised up growth expectations on home average selling prices to flat to 5 percent in the next six to 12 months, on improved home buyer confidence. The forecast on both sales and prices were both down 5 percent to flat previously.
(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)