Facing a deadline on Saturday to pay interest on a U.S. dollar bond, Evergande sent 83.5 million to a Citibank

new electric vehicle venture,China's top-selling property developer,Avergrande,China Evergrande Group,most indebted property firm

Monday, 29 November 2021
Chairman and Chief Editor
Bedour Ibrahim

There is deep scepticism over its capacity to ride out the crisis

Avergrande averted a default, buying it another week

China Evergrande Group  appeared to have averted default with a last-minute bond coupon payment, buying it another week to wrestle with a debt crisis looming over the world's second-biggest economy.

The property developer also announced plans to give future priority to its electric vehicles business over real estate.

Facing a deadline on Saturday to pay interest on a U.S. dollar bond, Evergande sent $83.5 million to a Citibank trustee account on Thursday.

That brought relief for investors and regulators worried about  fallout for global markets and added to reassurances from Chinese officials that creditors would be protected. 

Still, the world's most indebted property firm - with more than $300 billion in liabilities - needs to make payments on a string of other bonds, with the next major deadline to  avoid default on Oct. 29.

With little known about its  ability to pay and property sales tumbling 30% in the last 12 months, there is deep scepticism over Evergrande's capacity to ride out the crisis.

The company, once China's top-selling property developer, did not respond to a request for comment on debt payment.

Evergrande chairman Hui Ka Yan said on Friday the company would aim to make its new electric vehicle venture its primary business instead of property within 10 years.

Property sales will slow to about 200 billion yuan ($31.31 billion) per year by that time, compared to more than 700 billion yuan last year, he was quoted as saying by the state-backed Securities Times.

Evergrande's new  vehicle business, founded in 2019, has yet to reveal a production model or sell a single vehicle. Last month, the unit warned it was still seeking new investors and asset sales, and that without either it might struggle to pay salaries and cover other expenses.

Evergrande's overall woes have snowballed for months and its dwindling resources set against its vast liabilities have wiped out 80% of its value.