Evergrande, with 1.97 trillion yuan (US$310 billion ) of liabilities, said in January it would unveil a plan within six months to reorganise its portfolio of businesses.
Unfinished apartment buildings at the construction site of a China Evergrande Group development in Beijing on January 6, 2021.
Trading was halted for the shares of China Evergrande Group and two of its units on the Hong Kong stock exchange on Monday, raising expectations of an impending announcement in the restructuring of the world’s most indebted property developer.
Evergrande’s shares were halted along with the stock of the Evergrande Property Services Group unit and the China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group subsidiary, according to filings to the Hong Kong stock exchange, which gave no further details.
Evergrande, with 1.97 trillion yuan (US$310 billion) of liabilities, said in January it would unveil a plan within six months to reorganise its portfolio of businesses from its core real estate to electric cars, water bottling and even a football club.
The Guangzhou-based company would “continue to listen carefully to the opinions and suggestions of the creditors” and will formulate a preliminary restructuring plan, it said in January.
Local authorities of Guangdong province, which put some key assets of Evergrande under state ward, were aiming to release a framework debt restructuring plan by March, according to a report by Financial intelligence provider REDD in January.
Some creditors have given Evergrande breathing room, giving the company’s China unit Hengda Real Estate Group a 12-month extension until September 2022 to collect their coupon payment on 4 billion yuan of bonds due in 2025, according to a filing by Hengda’s lawyers on Sunday to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
Evergrande had appointed US restructuring experts Houlihan Lokey and Hong Kong-based investment bank Admiralty Harbour Capital to assess its capital structure after the property firm failed to pay investors who subscribed to its high yield wealth management products last September.
The company subsequently set up a risk management committee in December, saying it would actively engage with creditors to formulate a viable restructuring plan.
Evergrande is not the sole real estate company to be in crisis mode. The cracks in China’s housing market have widened as more developers joined the list of defaults, the latest being the Logan Group and Sunac China.
More drastic easing measures are expected to stop the property sector from collapsing.
The Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China property tax pilot programme will not expand in 2022 given the current conditions do not allow it, last Wednesday.
“We expect PBOC to cut policy rates by a moderate 10 basis points in April and cut the reserve requirement ratio by 50 basis points over the next couple of months,” said Lu Ting, chief economist with Nomura. “Beijing will also likely allow more local governments to ease their local property curbs.”
Evergrande shares traded at HK$1.65 before the suspension, gaining 3.8 per cent so far this year, as compared to some 90 per cent plunge last year.