1 min read.Updated: 22 Dec 2021, 06:12 PM ISTCLARENCE LEONG, The Wall Street Journal
Developer has roughly $300 billion in liabilities
Debt-laden China Evergrande Group said the committee helping steer its massive restructuring is deploying extensive resources to help contain risks and will engage with creditors.
The reassurance echoes a pledge earlier this month to work with holders of offshore debt and follows a sustained selloff in the company’s stock and bonds, with Evergrande shares recently hitting a series of record lows.
“In view of the risks the group is currently facing, the risk management committee of China Evergrande Group is utilizing its extensive resources and will actively engage with the group’s creditors," the company said in a filing to the Hong Kong exchange Wednesday.
The committee will do so to “mitigate the group’s risk and protect the legitimate interest of the parties," it said.
Evergrande said Dec. 6 that it has set up the committee, whose members include representatives from several state-owned enterprises. They include Guangdong Holdings Ltd., an investment-holding company controlled by the provincial government, and China Cinda Asset Management Co., one of the country’s largest managers of distressed assets.
Evergrande’s founder and chairman, Hui Ka Yan, chairs the committee while the company’s chief financial officer, Pan Darong, is also a member. On Dec. 3, Evergrande had said it would “actively engage with offshore creditors" to develop a workable restructuring plan for its offshore debts.
Last week, S&P Global Ratings downgraded China Evergrande Group to one of its lowest possible ratings, meaning the world’s three largest credit-rating companies all now judge the giant developer to be in default.
Evergrande has amassed the equivalent of around $300 billion in liabilities, including nearly $20 billion in U.S. dollar bonds. The company and the wider sector has been reeling from declining home sales and curbs on borrowing imposed by Beijing.
Evergrande’s shares have plumbed new depths in recent weeks, and ended at 1.45 Hong Kong dollars per share on Wednesday. That was a fresh record closing low, according to FactSet, and takes the stock’s year-to-date decline to more than 90%.
Prices for the company’s bonds are at deeply distressed levels, with an 8.75% dollar bond due in 2025 quoted at 19 cents on the dollar, according to Tradeweb.