Evergrande chief’s luxury assets in focus as his company scrambles to pay debts -Breaking
© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Hui Ka Yan (chairman of Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd.), the second largest country-wide property developer in terms of sales, is present at a Hong Kong conference discussing annual results, March 29, 2016, in Hong Kong. REUTERS/BobbyYip/File photo
Clare Jim and Julie Zhu
HONG KONG (Reuters – China Evergrande Group, a developer, is struggling to repay its debt obligations. Its founder, however, has been able to free up funds from luxurious assets such as art, calligraphy, and two luxury homes. This according to documents and a person who knows the details.
Two people familiar with the matter said last month that Evergrande Chairman Hui Ka Yan (63) was told by Chinese authorities to pay bondholders some of his personal assets.
Evergrande’s difficulties in paying its bond payments have caused panic in markets. This has left creditors, investors and other suppliers reeling.
Guo Hui was a cleaning service owner whose business was owed over 18 million Yuan ($2.8 Million) by Evergrande. He had to sell his Porsche Cayenne as well as an apartment in order to get cash to pay off debts.
Guo stated to Reuters, “He should sell his stuff.” He was forced to do so by the authorities.
Hui pledged one the Hong Kong mansions measuring approximately 5,000 sq. feet to China Construction Bank for an October loan (OTC) according to Hong Kong’s Land Registry.
According to local media, around HK$300 million were raised in order to repay an Evergrande bond that was overdue.
The Asia’s most wealthy man, the tycoon pledged another luxury home on The Peak. Orix Asia Capital Ltd, (NYSE:), Nov. 8. For an undisclosed amount according to the Land Registry.
According to an agent, each property is worth approximately HK$800m.
Evergrande and Hui did not reply to inquiries regarding The Peak’s properties.
China’s State Council Information Office didn’t immediately reply to our request for comment.
Hui was raised in rural Guangzhou by his grandmother. In 1996, Hui started Evergrande, which supplies low-priced houses and builds fortunes.
According to an insider with knowledge, he developed a love for calligraphy and art, and Koi Carp, a fish that is considered a symbol for good fortune and luck. He paid millions of dollars for it.
According to the source, Evergrande was selling calligraphy and art under Hui’s orders in order to raise capital. Because of the sensitive nature and circumstances, the source could not be identified.
Reuters was unable to determine the amount of money raised through the sales of art or the purpose for which it was used.
Evergrande didn’t respond to my request for comment on the sale of art.
Another source claimed Evergrande had sold two Gulfstream jets over the past few weeks.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Evergrande sold two private jets to American investors earlier in the month.
Hui, which is 60 m long, also owns an Airbus private jet and a yacht named “Event”, valued at $60 Million, Chinese media reported.
Reuters was unable to independently confirm Hui’s ownership of the yacht and private plane.
Evergrande and Hui did not reply to inquiries regarding Hui’s aircraft and yacht, or other assets.
Hui’s networth has plummeted from approximately $45 Billion in 2017 to around $11.3 Billion over the years. However, the Hurun China Rich List 2020, which was released last month, still shows that he’s worth an estimated $11.3Billion.
However, even though he plans to dispose of some of his assets, it pales in comparison with Evergrande’s liabilities, which exceed $300 billion. That is roughly equivalent to South Africa’s gross domestic products.
Evergrande has avoided another destabilizing default by paying a bond payment last night. Its next deadline is Dec. 28. There are coupon payments due in excess of $255 millions.
($1 = 6.3807 renminbi)