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China Evergrande shares plunge as trading resumes after 17 months

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NANJING, CHINA – AUGUST 18, 2023 – Aerial photo shows a residential area of Evergrande in Nanjing, East China’s Jiangsu province, Aug 18, 2023. (Photo by Costfoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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Shares of the world’s most indebted property developer China Evergrande Group plunged as much as 87% on its open on Monday, trading for the first time since March 21, 2022.

Shares fell to as low as 22 Hong Kong cents on Monday, compared to its last close at 1.65 Hong Kong dollars per share on March 18, 2022.

The resumption of trade comes as the company posted a loss of 39.25 billion yuan ($5.38 billion) for the six months ended June, a smaller loss compared to the 86.17 billion yuan loss the same period a year ago.

Revenue came in at 128.81 billion yuan, rising from 89.28 billion yuan in June 2022.

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In July, the beleaguered company filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in a U.S. court, which protects its U.S. assets from creditors while it works on a restructuring deal elsewhere.

In its filing to the Hong Kong exchange, Evergrande revealed it had total liabilities of 2.39 trillion yuan as of June this year, slightly lower than the 2.44 trillion yuan in the six months ended June 30, 2022.

As of June, Evergrande had total assets of 1.74 trillion yuan, including total cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash of 13.4 billion yuan.

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Evergrande defaulted in 2021 and announced an offshore debt restructuring program in March, having struggled to finish projects and repay suppliers and lenders.

Earlier this year, the company posted a combined loss of $81 billion in its long overdue earnings report.

Net losses for 2021 and 2022 were 476 billion yuan and 105.9 billion yuan, respectively, as a result of writedowns of properties, return of lands, losses on financial assets and financing costs, the company said.

In 2020, before the company went into default, Evergrande posted a net profit of 8.1 billion yuan.

— CNBC’s Sumathi Bala and Elliot Smith contributed to this report.

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