Cash-strapped realty giant Evergrande starts repaying investors with property
Updated 13:01, 20-Sep-2021
By Chen Yurong
The headquarters of Evergrande Group in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, south China. /CFP

The headquarters of Evergrande Group in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, south China. /CFP

Leading Chinese property developer Evergrande Group has begun repaying investors in its wealth management products with real estate, its financial unit Evergrande Wealth said in an online statement on Saturday.

The second-largest property giant in China, which had also been expanding its businesses to new energy cars and healthcare, has recently been hit by a liquidity crisis, with its liabilities mounting to over 1.97 trillion yuan ($304 billion), according to its half-year financial report released in late August.

The group has been struggling to raise funds to repay its many lenders and suppliers. It revealed in an exchange filing on Tuesday that it faces higher pressure on liquidity for the expected continuous fall in September, warning broader default risk.

Read more: 

China Evergrande expects plunging property sales in September to affect liquidity

The situation was exacerbated as investors gathered at Evergrande's headquarters in south China's Shenzhen demanding redemption of the company's wealth management products earlier this week. 

In the Saturday statement, Evergrande Wealth said that their repayment work with property has begun and investors interested in redeeming wealth management products for physical assets should contact their investment consultants or visit the listed local offices across 27 provincial-level regions in China. 

In a separate statement on Saturday, Evergrande said that six of its executives had redeemed 12 investment products in advance between May 1 and September 7 this year.

Evergrande said that it has requested these executives to return all the funds redeemed within a certain time frame, adding it will impose severe penalties on them.

The contract sales of properties of Evergrande amounted to 71.63 billion yuan in June, 43.78 billion yuan in July, and 38.08 billion yuan in August this year, showing a decreasing trend, according to the Tuesday filing. 

Evergrande has also encountered repeated downgrades by international rating agencies in recent months, such as S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings – both warning of the risk of default. 

Evergrande's main unit, Evergrande Real Estate Group, applied on Thursday to suspend trading of its onshore corporate bonds following a downgrade from China's largest rating agency China Chengxin International (CCXI).

Its bonds were downgraded to A from AA, the second downgrade from CCXI in September. 

Read more: China Evergrande onshore bond trading suspended after downgrade

On Monday, the company's Hong Kong shares closed 16.9 percent lower at HK$2.11 by noon, the lowest since October 2011.

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