Evergrande shares rise as they resume trading after suspension

Shares in the embattled Chinese property developer Evergrande rose on Tuesday after they resumed trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange following a suspension.

China’s second-biggest developer halted trading on Monday after receiving an order from authorities at Danzhou city in Hainan on 30 December telling it to demolish 39 under-construction buildings at the Ocean Flower Island project.

Shares in the company, whose market value has plunged almost 90% over the last year, jumped by 10% after they resumed trading on Tuesday and Evergrande announced that the demolition order would not affect the rest of its project at the Hainan resort. However, they later fell back to a rise of almost 2%.

It comes after Evergrande said its sales for 2021 had plunged 39% from the year before to $69.5bn (£51.6bn).

The developer is struggling to repay more than $300bn in liabilities by selling assets and shares. Nearly $20bn of international market bonds were deemed to be in cross-default by ratings firms last month after the company missed payments.

Evergrande missed new coupon payments worth $255m due last Tuesday, though both have a 30-day grace period.

On Friday, Evergrande scaled back plans to repay investors in its wealth management products, saying each investor could expect to receive 8,000 yuan ($1,257) a month as principal payment for three months irrespective of when the investment matures.

Altogether, Chinese property developers owed $19.8bn in US dollar-denominated offshore debt in the first three months of 2022, analysts at Nomura said last month. In the second quarter of this year, they must find another $18.5bn, while also meeting billions of repayments in local yuan debt.

Other developers at risk of default include Kaisa, which missed a huge repayment in December and which has twice suspended its shares in recent months. Its stock has lost 75% in value in the past year.

Analysts at S&P have estimated that one-third of Chinese developers could face a liquidity crunch in the next 12 months.

Developers must also find 1.1tn yuan in backdated pay owed to construction workers before the lunar new year starts at the beginning of February.

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