Evergrande, struggling in China, says it cannot publish its annual report on time
China Evergrande Group, the deeply indebted developer led by billionaire Hui Ka Yan, says it cannot release its annual report for 2021 on time.
In a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday, the company cited the effects of Covid-19, “drastic changes” in its operating environment, and the requirement for additional audit procedures as reasons for the delay. It will publish annual results “as soon as possible”, according to the filling. The company suspended trading in its shares on Monday.
Two of Evergrande’s units, Evergrande Property Services Group and China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group, also halted trading in their shares and announced they would postpone the release of annual results. Meanwhile, Evergrande Property Services Group said in its own filing that 13.4 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) of deposits used as collateral for unspecified third-party pledges have now been claimed by the banks involved.
“The company will establish an independent investigation committee and arrange for the appointment of experts to investigate the pledge guarantees,” Evergrande Property Services wrote in the filing.
The multiple delays come as Evergrande is mired in the midst of what could be one of the biggest corporate debt restructurings in China. The company, with total liabilities of more than $300, said in January that a restructuring plan would be released within the next six months. He is expected to hold a call with investors at 9 p.m. Tuesday evening Hong Kong time, according to multiple media outlets, although it was not immediately clear what the call would cover.
Evergrande has in recent months persuaded investors in some of its onshore bonds to accept late payments and has sold stakes in real estate projects to public trust companies. Some of its international creditors, for example US asset manager Oaktree Capital, continued to seize Evergrande’s most prized land assets in mainland China after the company defaulted on secured loans.
On a personal level, Hui could quickly fall out of favor with the central government in Beijing. The embattled billionaire, whose fortune plummeted to $8.9bn after claiming the crown of Asia’s richest person in 2017 with a wealth of $42.5bn, did not attend a rally of the country’s political advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). ) early March.
The tycoon, a longtime Communist Party member who sits on the CPPCC, was told not to attend, according to a Bloomberg report. Its public appearance, especially on government-associated occasions, is a sign closely watched by investors. Evergrande’s ties jumped last July after Hui posted a photo of himself in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, after being invited to attend the Communist Party’s 100th anniversary celebration at the time.