(Yicai Global) Sept. 25 -- Evergrande Group’s shares fell after a letter purportedly from the Chinese property developer seeking government support for a unit’s long-planned listing circulated online yesterday. The firm decried the document, which warned of a potential liquidity crisis and debt default, and labeled it as a fabrication.
The Guangzhou-based company's stock price [HKG: 3333] closed 9.5 percent lower today at HKD13.78 (USD1.78), after dropping as much as 14.6 percent in rocky trading. Prices of its onshore bonds also fell before trading was halted.
Titled Report on Evergrande Group's Request for Support of Its Major Asset Restructuring and dated Aug. 24, the letter in question appears to bear Evergrande's seal and names the Guangdong provincial government as the receiver. It states that Evergrande wants the government to support Hengda Real Estate's listing through a shell company called Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Real Estate and Properties Group, whose shares halted trading four years ago after it became involved in the proposed backdoor listing.
The rumors, related documents and screenshots were "fabricated and pure defamation," Evergrande said in a statement yesterday. They have inflicted serious damage to the reputation of the company, which has reported the case to law enforcement, it added.
Evergrande's interest-bearing liabilities had reached CNY835.5 billion (USD122.5 billion) as of June 30, making it the world's most-indebted real estate developer, the letter said.
CNY130 billion in investment committed to its restructuring efforts will turn into debt if Evergrande is unable to complete the reorganization, the document added, saying that may result in a disruption to cash flow, triggering cross-defaults with banks, trusts, funds and the bond market which would pose a risk to the country's financial system.
Evergrande's total liabilities were about CNY1.48 trillion (USD216.9 billion) as of June 30, and its overall debt was CNY1.98 trillion, with the balance of cash and cash equivalents being about CNY150 billion at the end of the reporting period, according to the firm's semi-annual earnings report.
Evergrande Group was 34th in the Fortune China 500 and topped its ranking of real estate developers last year.
Editor: Ben Armour