China Evergrande shares plummet on default risks


FILE PHOTO: An exterior view of China Evergrande Centre in Hong Kong, China March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

September 20, 2021

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Shares of Evergrande plunged over 15% on Monday, extending losses as investors take a dim view of its business prospects with a fast approaching deadline for payment obligations this week.

As of 0245 GMT, the stock was down 14.6% to HK$2.17, the lowest since Oct 2011.

The company’s property management unit dropped over 8%, while its electrics car unit declined 2%. Movie streaming company Hengten Net, majority-owned by Evergrande, plummeted 10%.

Evergrande has been scrambling to raise funds to pay its many lenders, suppliers and investors, with regulators warning that its $305 billion of liabilities could spark broader risks to the country’s financial system if not stabilised.

One of Evergrande’s main lenders has made provisions for losses on a portion of its loans to the embattled developer, while some creditors are planning to give it more time to repay, four bank executives told Reuters.

The developer said on Sunday it has begun repaying investors in its wealth management products with real estate.

Policymakers are telling Evergrande’s major lenders to extend interest payments or rollover loans, and market watchers are largely of the view that a direct bailout from the government is unlikely.

Evergrande is due to pay $83.5 million interest on Sept 23 for its March 2022 bond.

It has another $47.5 million interest payment due on Sept 29 for the March 2024 notes. The bonds would default if Evergrande fails to pay the interest within 30 days.

(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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