Evergrande’s debt crisis is continuing to unsettle investors in Asia and raising concerns about whether a potential default by the troubled Chinese conglomerate could spill over to other parts of the economy.
Shares of Evergrande Group plummeted 10% in Hong Kong on Monday, hitting just 2.28 Hong Kong dollars ($0.29) per share. The stock has shed 84% so far this year, plunging below its 2009 IPO price of 3.5 Hong Kong dollars ($0.45). The Hang Seng Index (HSI) on Monday dropped 3.3%, suffering its worst decline in nearly two months, as Chinese banks, insurers and other real estate companies were slammed. Evergrande is facing a few critical deadlines this week. It was supposed to repay interest on some bank loans on Monday, according to Bloomberg. The news outlet recently reported that Chinese authorities have told major banks that they won’t receive those payments.
Evergrande did not immediately respond to a request from CNN Business for comment about those payments. And interest payments totaling more than $100 million are due later this week on two of the company’s bonds, according to data provider Refinitiv. But it’s not clear how much — if any — of those debt obligations Evergrande will be able to meet. The group is China’s most indebted developer, with more than $300 billion worth of liabilities. Over the last few weeks, it’s warned investors of cash flow issues, saying that it could default if it’s unable to raise money quickly.
Evergrande’s debt burden is so large that analysts have warned that risks could spread throughout China. The company holds about 6.5% of the total debt held by China’s property sector, according to an estimate by UBS. The Hang Seng Property Index, which tracks major developers listed in the city, sank 6.7%, hitting its lowest level since May 2016. The chill might have been exacerbated by a Reuters report late Friday afternoon, which cited anonymous sources as saying that Beijing has called on Hong Kong’s powerful property tycoons to pour resources and influence into backing Beijing’s interests.