Evergrande Seeks Sale of Hong Kong Residential Project
(Bloomberg) -- China Evergrande Group is seeking to sell a residential project in Hong Kong, people familiar with the matter said, as it ramps up divestments to avert a cash crunch.
The debt-laden developer is looking to sell the site in the Yuen Long area of the New Territories for HK$8 billion ($1 billion), one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential. That’s lower than the HK$8.9 billion it paid to acquire the project.
Sing Tao Daily reported the sale plans earlier. Representatives for Shenzhen-based Evergrande didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The world’s most indebted developer is facing mounting pressure to curtail its borrowings, fueling concerns that it may rush to offload assets cheaply. Regulators last week issued a rare public rebuke of the company, urging it to address its debt woes. With more than $300 billion of liabilities, the conglomerate’s fate has broad implications for China’s financial system.
“Evergrande may accelerate asset sales after last week’s rebuke and instruction to resolve its debt problems from China’s central bank and financial regulator,” Bloomberg Intelligence analysts including Patrick Wong and Lisa Zhou wrote in a note.
Shares of Evergrande fell as much as 2.2% in Hong Kong trading on Wednesday, taking this year’s decline to 70%.
Evergrande acquired the Yuen Long project from Henderson Land Development Co., firstly by purchasing undeveloped farmland for HK$4.7 billion in mid-2019. Earlier this year it paid a HK$4.2 billion premium to convert it into a residential development, according to the Hong Kong Economic Times.
Evergrande and its electric vehicle and property services units tumbled earlier this week after Sing Tao Daily reported that the company may sell its Hong Kong headquarters building for HK$10.5 billion, less than the acquisition cost of HK$12.5 billion.
Bloomberg Intelligence estimates sales of Evergrande’s Hong Kong properties and listed shares may cut its total debt by about 17%. The firm could lower its borrowings by about 14% from 570 billion yuan ($88 billion) by offloading its entire stakes in four Hong Kong-listed companies, including a small holding in property service firm E-House China Enterprise Holdings Ltd., for HK$94 billion, based on their closing prices on Aug. 23, the BI analysts wrote.
Evergrande said earlier this month it’s in discussions to sell stakes in its electric vehicle and property services units. Last week it said preliminary talks between China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group Ltd. and Xiaomi Corp. to introduce strategic shareholders had ended.
Evergrande New Energy Vehicle shares fell as much as 9.2% in Hong Kong, while Evergrande Property Services Group Ltd. rose as much as 5.6% before paring the gains. HengTen Networks Group Ltd., an internet unit which Evergrande is trimming its stake in, slid 6.3%.
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