China: 海外发债专题 (下篇):主要架构及资金回流探讨

Last Updated: 15 July 2019
Article by Bi Xiuli and He Wang
Most Read Contributor in China, July 2019

外债是指境内企业及其控制的境外企业或分支机构向境外举借的、以本币或外币计价、按约定还本付息的债务工具,外债已经成为大中型企业海外融资的重要途径之一。为了更好的研习海外发债的相关规定,更好的服务客户,笔者就外债的相关规定、外债的主要架构、资金回流以及中国律师在外债的服务范围予以简要小结,以期抛转引玉。本专题研究共分为三篇文章,本文为中篇,外汇监管部分。

一、海外发债的主要架构

(一)内保外贷

内保外贷指担保人注册地在境内、债务人和债权人注册地均在境外的跨境担保。内保外贷的一般交易结构为境内公司(或集团)在境外设立SPV,由SPV境外发债,境内集团提供担保。发债筹集的资金根据公司总体规划,既可以在境外使用,也可以在境内使用。如在境内使用,涉及境外发债资金回流至境内使用(详见本文"二、资金回流")。根据担保人是否为银行,笔者将内保外贷分为非银行类机构担保和银行类机构担保两类。

1.非银行类机构担保

1)基本含义。是指企业成立境外子公司(可以是专门为发债成立的壳公司)作为债券的发行人,而境内企业通过对债券提供跨境担保,成为实际发行人。

基本架构图为:

(2)优势:在该种结构下,由于境内企业直接提供担保,债项增信效果明显,融资成本较低。

(3)实操要点:

①外汇备案。境内母公司需在债券发行后十五个工作日内到当地外管局履行备案手续。实际操作中,需要与当地外管局提前沟通,以确定发行完成后可以完成登记;境外子公司设立,如果公司需在海外设立一级子公司,一般需当地国资委审批;若已有海外架构,可以以其作为发行主体或设立下级子公司,可于当地国资委沟通,一般不需审批。集团内部需对本次发债及提供担保取得必要的批准。

② 募集资金回流用途受限:a.内保外贷项下资金应用于债务人正常经营范围内的相关支出,不得用于支持债务人从事正常业务范围以外的相关交易,不得构造交易背景进行套利或进行其他形式的投机性交易。b.未经国家外汇管理局批准,内保外贷项下资金不得直接或间接以证券投资方式调回境内使用。c.内保外贷项下资金如用于直接或间接获得对境外其他机构的股权(包括新设境外企业、并购境外企业和向境外企业增资)或债权,该投资行为应当符合国家关于境外投资的相关政策导向,并符合国内相关部门有关境外投资的规定。d.内保外贷项下担保责任为境外债务人债券发行项下还款义务时,境外债务人应由境内机构直接或间接持股。e.内保外贷项下担保责任为境外机构衍生交易项下支付义务时,境外债务人从事衍生交易应以止损保值为目的,符合其主营业务范围且经过适当授权。⑥银行应加强内保外贷项下资金用途管理,以适当方式监督债务人按照其合同约定的用途使用内保外贷项下资金。

2.银行类机构担保

(1)基本含义。常见的为银行备用信用证担保。银行出具备用信用证,通常需要境内母公司提供相应的反担保或抵押安排。目前银行备用信用证担保方式发行债券是否属于跨境担保及内保外贷范畴,是有一定争议的,笔者暂且将该等安排纳入到内保外贷范畴。

基本架构图为:

(2)优势:①通过银行所的备用信用证或保函作为增信工具,其债券评级有很大机会视同于由其银行发行的债券评级,无需进行向评级机构披露其业务或营运的相关信息。② 银行开立人民币融资性对外担保余额函不占用公司的外债额度和银行年度融资性对外担保余额指标,则境内银行提供融资性对外担保,无需向外管局逐笔申请批准。

(3)实操要点:根据近期市场动态,考虑到提供增信的银行将会收取保函费,可能会略为提高综合融资成本及占用在银行的授信额度,四大银行对该架构态度趋于保守,但仍有一些地方性或股份制银行愿意提供备用信用证担保。

(二)维好协议(Keepwell Deed)及回购(Deed of Equity Interest Purchase Undertaking)

(1)基本含义。维好协议是境内集团与境外SPV之间签署的协议。按照协议规定,境内集团承诺至少持有一定比例的境外SPV的股份,并为其提供流动性支持,保证其能够保持适当的资产、权益及流动资金,不会出现破产等情况。股权收购承诺协议的主要内容包括:境内集团承诺一旦境外发行的债券项下出现或可能出现违约,如果债券受托人提出要求,境内集团将收购该控股公司持有的资产,且收购价格不低于债券到期应付的本金、利息和相关费用之和。

基本架构:

(2)优势:维好协议模式不等同于担保,往往不需要按照内保外贷的要求,办理相关登记手续;事前审批较简单,资金回流没有限制。

(3)实操要点:①维好协议和股权回购承诺都不能等同于担保,以本结构发行的票面利率将会较高;国际市场投资人和评级机构认为该种架构的法律效应低于担保,评级一般为母公司评级下调1-2个评级点。②维好协议曾经的不需经外管备案的优势在一定情况下会导致后期相关方无法偿债,出现维好协议模式下的违约。如:香港注册的中国城市建设(国际)2014年6月发行了一只3年期规模25亿元人民币的点心债,并提供了母公司中城建集团的"维好协议"。原定在2017年6月20日提前赎回点心债,但未能按期实施。仍有约16亿元人民币的债券未能提前兑付,不能按时提前赎回是因为境内资金无法如期汇出。跨境担保须要中国国家外汇管理局的预先批准,如果中城建的点心债提前与外管局沟通并做好相关备案,就不会出现公司所称的资金无法汇出的情况。中城建的违约事件再次暴露了维好协议增信架构存在的问题。

(三)红筹架构企业发债

1.基本含义。搭建红筹架构的企业(包括采取红筹架构实现在境外上市的企业)可以在海外发债,在该等模式下,红筹企业可直接作为发债主体,或者专门为发债成立一家SPV。

基本架构图为:

2.优势:该种发行结构具有事前审批简便的优势。

3.实操要点:由于境外控股公司不承担主营业务职能,因其实际业务在境内也会影响主体或债券评级,为提高增信,一般会要求境内从事实体业务的附属公司提供担保或签署相应的维好协议、股权回购协议等。

(四)境内集团直接海外发债

1.基本含义。2044号文出台后,国家发改委放开了境内企业直接发债的监管,旨在鼓励境内资信状况好、偿债能力强的企业到境外发行债券,引导资金投向国家鼓励的重点行业、重点领域、重点项目,如支持"一带一路"等,尤其鼓励企业以跨境直接发行方式进行海外融资。境内平台直接发债对企业资质要求依然较高,已发行主体均为省级或政府重点支持平台,境外债资信水平相对其他结构较高。

基本架构图为:

2.优势:直接境外发行模式下,一般无需额外增信,无需搭建境外平台,发行结构相对简单。

3.实操要点:①境内企业境外直接发行债券的税率成本(包括:此境内发行主体在支付上述利息时应代扣代缴10%预提所得税(withholding tax))需要由发行人自己承担,这增加了发行人的成本。②募集资金可以回流,但国家发改委的态度根据经济情况会调整,另外国家外汇管理局目前没有出台相关文件,各地外管局对于资金回流态度不一。

二、募集资金回流

(一)相关限制

2044号文已将中长期外债进行了改革,由外债发行的审核制变为备案制,明确允许资金回流,支持重大项目,资金在境内外自由支配。根据2044号文的要求,企业发行外债,事前向国家发展改革委申请办理备案登记手续,并在每期发行结束后10个工作日内,向发改委报送发行信息。目前有关外债资金回流的相关限制性规定主要包括: 

1.直接发行模式。根据2044号文,允许企业根据实际需要自主在境内外使用外债资金,但外债资金应投向国家鼓励的重点行业、重点领域、重大项目,优先用于支持"一带一路"、京津冀协同发展、长江经济带与国际产能和装备制造合作等重大工程建设和重点领域投资。因此,资金投向于上述重点建设或重点领域的,才能直接调回境内使用。

2.内保外贷。根据29号文,内保外贷的外债资金仅能用于境外发行人正常经营范围内的相关支出。对于境外债务主体通过海外发债募集境外投资项目所需资金的,108号文重申"母为子保"的要求,即境内机构应当直接或者间接持有境外债务主体方可开展内保外贷业务。红筹架构下境外发债且资金调回境内使用的是否可以办理内保外贷业务目前的规定并不明确。对于通过股权投资或外债方式回流的资金,外管局已大幅放宽用途,实施"负面清单"制度,即境内机构的资本项目外汇收入及其结汇所得人民币资金的使用,(1)不得直接或间接用于企业经营范围之外或国家法律法规禁止的支出;(2)除另有明确规定外,不得直接或间接用于证券投资或除银行保本型产品之外的其他投资理财;(3)不得用于向非关联企业发放贷款,经营范围明确许可的情形除外;(4)不得用于建设、购买非自用房地产(房地产企业除外)(5)不得超出该合同约定的范围使用相关资金。

3.维好模式。境内主体提供维好不属于担保,无需向外管局申请登记。资金回流方式包括但不限于:新设外商投资企业、并购境内企业、股东贷款、合格境外投资者、外商融资租赁公司、外商投资股权投资企业、外保内贷、贸易等方式等。但同时应遵守有关外商投资方面的法律法规(有关外商投资方面的法律法规及简要分析,详见笔者于2019年6月3日在德恒公众号上发表的《境外上市研究系列之法规部分:外商投资部分(上篇)》及于2019年6月15日在德恒公众号上发表的《境外上市研究系列之法规部分:外商投资部分(下)》)

4.资本金的限制性规定。如发债资金回流作为外商投资企业的资本金,则还需要注意返程投资问题(有关外商投资方面的法律法规及简要分析,详见笔者于2019年6月3日在德恒公众号上发表的《境外上市研究系列之法规部分:外商投资部分(上篇)》及于2019年6月15日在德恒公众号上发表的《境外上市研究系列之法规部分:外商投资部分(下)》)。外商投资企业应按照现行外商直接投资外汇管理规定办理相关外汇登记手续,并应如实披露股东的实际控制人等有关信息。")。

(二)实操做法

境内企业在做境外发债方案之前,首先因确认发债融资是否在允许的额度之内,将境内已发生的占用跨境融资的额度汇总后再根据本次发债金额进行测算。而公司在发改委完成境外发债的备案(包括资金回流等)后,无需再取得人民银行或者国家外管局的审批,但应向国家外汇管理局的资本项目信息系统办理跨境融资情况签约备案,并由结算银行向人行系统报送相关融资信息。在后续发债融资后的资金回流时一般不会存在障碍。

三、境内律师的主要作用

中国律师在境内企业外债服务中是区分为发行人中国律师及券商中国律师。

发行人中国律师的法律服务范围主要包括:就项目涉及的境内实体开展中国法律尽职调查工作;向发行人及相关主体解答与项目涉的中国法律问题;代表发行人与项目其他中介机构进协调沟通,配合、制订出最为有利于发行人的项目方案,并协助执行、完成发行等全部项目工作;协助和代表发行人对项目文件进审查,提出修订意见等。

券商中国律师的法律服务范围主要包括:就项目涉及的境内实体开展中国法律尽职调查工作;与发行人及项目涉的相关主体承销商及其他中介机构进行协调与沟通;向承销商出具中国法律意见书;基于中国法律规定和角度对项目文件进行审查,提出修订意见;根据中国法律及监管审批要求提供与项目相关的咨询意见,协助进行有关沟通解释工作 ;提供与项目有关的法律咨询和支持服务。

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions