HONG KONG, RAW – Trading in shares of heavily indebted China Evergrande have been suspended, days after some bondholders said the property developer at the centre of jitters over China’s financial system had missed a second key bond interest payment.
Shares of its unit Evergrande Property Services Group were also suspended on Monday, the Hong Kong stock exchange said. The bourse didn’t say why trading in the companies’ stock had been halted, and it was unclear who had initiated the suspension.
With liabilities stretching into hundreds of billions of dollars, equal to two per cent of China’s gross domestic product, Evergrande has sparked concerns its woes could spread through the financial system and reverberate around the world. Initial worries have eased somewhat after China’s central bank vowed to protect homebuyers’ interests.
Shares in Evergrande have plunged 80 per cent so far this year, while its property services unit has dropped 43 per cent as the group scrambles to raise funds to pay its many lenders and suppliers.
The cash-strapped group said on September 30 that its wealth management unit had made a 10 per cent repayment of wealth management products (WMPs), which are largely owned by onshore retail investors, that were due by the same date.
The developer’s treatment of offshore investors contrasts with the way the company is managing its onshore liabilities.
The two offshore payments, which bondholders said failed to arrive by their due date, come as the company, which has almost $US20 billion ($A28 billion) in offshore debt, faces deadlines on dollar bond coupon payments totalling $US162.38 million ($A223.42 million) in the next month.