Evergrande creditors storm China property group’s HQ
17 January 2022 | 2:44 pm
China is bracing itself for the possibility property group Evergrande could default on its huge $300 billion debt pile. Many of Evergrande's creditors are ordinary Chinese who may lose much of their life savings.
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The Hong Kong Stock Exchange did not say why it has suspended trading in Evergrande shares, but there is speculation that another major developer may buy out the company's property management unit.
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Chinese real estate giant Evergrande, saddled with around $300 billion in debt, has been struggling to meet interest payments on its loans. If it collapses, some of its partner firms could be driven to bankruptcy, prospective homebuyers could lose deposits and some banks would lend less money, which would lead to a credit crunch in the world's second-biggest economy. Property developers in China have in fact created an oversupply: there is enough empty property in the country to house more than 90 million people. FRANCE 24's team reports.
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Since September, the name Evergrande has caused panic on stock exchanges around the world. Paralysed by $300 billion in debt (€260 billion), or the equivalent of 2 percent of Chinese GDP, the country's second-largest real estate developer is now threatening Chinese growth. Evergrande has more than 1,300 construction projects across China, as well as financial products, electric cars, livestock, bottled water and even a football club.
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Shares in Evergrande tumbled as much as 19 percent on Monday in Hong Kong, after the Chinese property developer warned it might not have enough funds to repay its debt, prompting authorities to summon its chairman. A grace period expires on Monday for a coupon repayment worth over $82 million, pushing the company to the verge of default once again. Evergrande has already made three 11th-hour repayments in the past two months.
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