* Signing bondholders agree not to exercise rights until June 28
* Suntech shares rise 14 percent
(Adds analyst comment, background)
May 15 (Reuters) - China-based solar panel maker Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd, whose main unit is in insolvency proceedings, said it reached an agreement with some lenders to further defer its obligations on a $541 million loan.
The company's shares rose 14 percent to 66.8 cents in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Suntech defaulted on the principal payment on the 3 percent convertible notes on March 15. The company earlier that month reached a deal with 60 percent of the note holders to defer payments until May 15.
Under the agreement disclosed on Wednesday, the signing bondholders have agreed not to exercise their rights until June 28.
Chinese banks that lent to the company's main manufacturing subsidiary, Wuxi Suntech, dragged the unit into insolvency proceedings in March, after Suntech failed to make the payment.
'I think the bondholders perspective is to give Suntech more time because if they do sell those projects they own in Italy, through the Global Solar Fund, the bondholders will recover more of their investment,' said Morningstar analyst Stephen Simko.
Suntech owns an 88.15 percent stake in Global Solar Fund Sicar (GSF Sicar), a Luxembourg-based fund specializing in the development of solar power projects mainly in Italy.
Suntech could offload its solar power generation assets in Italy, a company spokesman said in April.
GSF Sicar owns 142-megawatt solar projects in Italy, 141 MW of which are now connected to the grid -- including 118-MW capacity that has obtained Italy's feed-in tariffs.
The fund carries an enterprise value of up to $800 million, including more than $600 million in loans from China Development Bank, according to analysts' estimates.
(Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila) Keywords: SUNTECH BONDREPAYMENT/
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