Evergrande vows debt payment after restructuring delay

Evergrande failed to come up with a “preliminary restructuring plan” it promised by the end of July. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING - China Evergrande Group chairman Hui Ka Yan has vowed to ensure project delivery and debt payment, as the billionaire’s credit crisis drags into the new year. 

It is a crucial year for Evergrande to deliver residential projects it pre-sold, Mr Hui said in a Jan 1 letter to employees, adding that construction has resumed for all its 732 real estate sites in 2022.

“As long as Evergrande employees can keep construction going, resume sales and restart operations, we will repay all kinds of debt and resolve risks in the end,” according to the letter that did not elaborate detailed plans. “Evergrande will start a new chapter after that.”

The developer is facing multiple headwinds in 2023, as China’s economy weakens and housing demand slumps.

It could be forced to surrender more undeveloped land parcels to local governments to help finance construction of its unfinished homes, wrote Bloomberg Intelligence senior research analyst Kristy Hung in a report. 

The world’s most indebted developer with US$300 billion (S$404 billion) in liabilities failed to come up with a “preliminary restructuring plan” it had promised by the end of July. It missed another self-imposed year-end deadline.

The company met with an ad hoc group of its dollar bond holders in early December to formally discuss plans, Bloomberg reported earlier.

It expected to receive support from offshore creditors by the end of February or early March, said the company’s legal representative during a winding-up hearing in late November. Evergrande was urged by the judge of the winding-up case to present “something more concrete” during the next hearing on March 20.

Evergrande delivered 301,000 residential units in 2022, according to the letter. Its electric vehicle start-up has begun mass production and delivery of Hengchi 5, it added. BLOOMBERG

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