Evergrande’s second-biggest shareholder plans to sell entire stake

A man walks in front of unfinished residential buildings at the Evergrande Oasis, a housing complex developed by Evergrande Group, in Luoyang September 15, 2021. — Reuters pic

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HONG KONG, Sept 23 — Chinese Estates Holdings , the second-biggest shareholder of embattled developer China Evergrande, said on Thursday it has sold US$32 million (RM134 million) worth of its Evergrande stake and plans to exit the holding completely.

“The directors are cautious and concerned about the recent development of China Evergrande Group including certain disclosure made by China Evergrande Group on its liquidity,” Chinese Estates said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

With US$305 billion in liabilities, Evergrande is struggling to meet its debt obligations and investors worry that the rot could spread to creditors including banks in China and abroad.

Shares of Chinese Estates jumped as much as 15.1 per cent in early trading to HK$2.51, notching the biggest daily percentage gain since June 2020.

China Evergrande stock soared as much as 32 per cent in the biggest daily percentage rise since listing in November 2009, after its unit said on Wednesday it had “resolved” a coupon payment on an onshore bond.

Chinese Estates, which owned about 6.50 per cent of Evergrande’s equity capital as of Sept. 10 according to Refinitiv Eikon data, said it has mandated a sale of all or part of the remaining 5.66 per cent Evergrande stake either on the market or through block trades.

The disposal mandate will be valid for 12 months from the date of a shareholders’ meeting on Sept. 23 to approve the sale, it said.

Chinese Estates said it had already sold 108.91 million shares, or 0.82 per cent, of Evergrande’s issued share capital between Aug. 30 and Sept. 21 for HK$246.5 million.

The company estimated that if the entire stake is sold, it will realise a loss of about HK$9,486.3 million for the year ending in December 2021.

Proceeds from the disposals will be used for general working capital and for reinvestment when opportunities arise, it added. — Reuters