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Evergrande Suspends Trading of Shares in Hong Kong

Evergrande suspended trading in Hong Kong as the heavily indebted company contends with an ongoing real estate crisis. Evergrande said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that its trading halt was pending an “announcement containing inside information,” though it did not elaborate.

Evergrande has about $300 billion in total liabilities. Analysts have worried for months about whether a collapse could trigger a broader crisis in China’s property market, hurting homeowners and the broader financial system. The US Federal Reserve warned last year that trouble in Chinese real estate could damage the global economy.

Fitch Ratings declared that the company had defaulted on its debt, a downgrade the credit ratings agency said reflected Evergrande inability to pay interest due that month on two dollar-denominated bonds. The company’s stock was rattled last week after more debt payment deadlines passed without signs that it had met its obligations, though it reportedly has a 30-day grace period to pay those debts.

Evergrande did not immediately respond to a request for comment about its decision to halt shares Monday. The  company’s financial woes have been mounting, it did have some positive news last month, saying it had made initial progress in resuming construction work.The company’s chairman Hui Ka Yan said that no one at the firm would be allowed to “lie flat” and vowed to deliver 39,000 properties in December. That number was a massive jump compared with the fewer than 10,000 units the company had delivered in each of the previous three months.

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