Ratings agency Moody’s has confirmed (paywalled) that Adani Group has had to pay back the US$500m of bonds issued by its NQXT coal port (formerly Adani Abbot Point Terminal) from its own pocket. The bonds matured on 15 December 2022.
NQXT, situated in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, is an essential part of the disastrous Adani Carmichael coal project, being the port via which all Carmichael coal is being exported.
Since 2020, Adani has been unable to externally refinance three of NQXT’s four maturing debt tranches, demonstrating how toxic this project is to potential investors and creditors. In 2020 NQXT postponed a bond issue, which has never eventuated, and the company repaid A$270 million in total for two tranches of debt coming due that year out of Adani’s own funds. In 2021 it seems to have successfully refinanced US$140 million of debt via the US private placement market, but once again in 2022 it was unable to find any external creditors for the half-billion dollars worth of bonds.
In 2021 and 2022 Market Forces reached out to NQXT bondholders, making sure they were aware of the destructive nature of Adani’s coal operations in Australia and the role that NQXT plays in that destruction. We received replies from several that they had either sold their bonds or committed not to invest any further in NQXT once their bonds matured.
113 major companies, including many banks and major investors have ruled out any involvement with Adani’s climate-wrecking Carmichael project, mainly due to the reputational risk of being linked to such a controversial development. This includes entities which have previously helped NQXT raise debt, such as Investec and FIIG.
The drain on Adani’s finances may continue. Under public pressure, a group of Korean creditors that provided funds in 2018 and 2019 have now pledged no further investment in Adani’s coal port and will cut all ties once their existing debts mature in coming years. These include Samsung Securities, Hanwha Investment and Securities, Korea Investment and Securities, Industrial Bank of Korea, and Mirae Asset Daewoo.
However, there are still some banks, previously linked to NQXT, which are yet to rule out providing assistance to the port. Take action to ask Haitong, Emirates NBD Capital and Stifel to rule out any future financing of the coal port.
Tell Haitong, Emirates NBD Capital and Stifel to rule out any future financing of the NQXT coal port.