Tue, Dec 30, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Ting Hsin renews debt payback plea

POCKETBOOK PROBLEMS:The top executive of the scandalized food conglomerate offered his personal guarantee on promissory notes for a development unit

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Ting Hsin International Group chairman Wei Ying-chiao is pictured in Taipei on Oct. 28.

Photo: CNA

Ting Hsin International Group (頂新集團) yesterday again sought a debt repayment grace period, as group chairman Wei Ying-chiao (魏應交) said he was willing to sign promissory notes as a guarantor, shrugging off creditor banks’ demands to pay back in full debts of NT$6.5 billion (US$204.6 million) by Thursday.

Creditors of Ting Hsin’s land development affiliate, Ting Lu Development Co (頂率開發), on Saturday last week came to a consensus not to extend a syndicated loan of NT$6.5 billion. The food conglomerate — wracked by an adulterated cooking oil scandal — received a legal letter of attestation demanding a payment.

“The company still hopes to be given more time to repay the debts, due to the company’s good repayment record in the past and signed guarantees,” Ting Hsin said in a statement.

Ting Hsin said it is willing to pay a higher interest rate of 4 percent for the syndicated loan, up from 2.2 percent, if it is permitted to roll over the debt.

If granted a six-month grace period, the group plans to repay NT$300 million per month in the first five months, with a final installment of NT$5 billion in the sixth month, Ting Hsin said.

In addition, Wei said he would guarantee promissory notes that he is willing to sign to gain more time for making the repayments, the statement said.

The Ministry of Finance yesterday reminded state-run lenders to stand by the “equator principles” of risk management and freeze credit for Ting Hsin and its affiliates.

The reminder came after the food conglomerate said it is set to talk with its creditors to seek the grace period.

Creditors should uphold the consensus and make the developer pay off the loan in three days, the ministry said in a brief statement.

The ministry is the largest shareholder in three of the four banks: Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐國際商銀), First Commercial Bank (第一銀行) and Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行).

Additional reporting by Cyrstal Hsu

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