China Evergrande Halts Its Shares in Hong Kong

Trading in the shares of the indebted property developer China Evergrande Group were suspended on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Monday morning as the company raced to deliver apartments to millions of home buyers and raise cash to manage its $300 billion in debt.

Evergrande said in a filing that its shares were halted pending an announcement “containing inside information,” without giving more details. The company had halted its shares once before, in October, as it tried to finalize the sale of a $2.6 billion stake in its property management unit.

That deal ultimately fell through.

The giant property developer entered into default last month after failing to make a final debt payment to foreign investors. The company owes an estimated 1.6 million apartments to home buyers and is facing dozens of lawsuits.

Although Evergrande has yet to solve its cash squeeze, it pledged last week to finish building 39,000 apartments before the end of 2021. The announcement sent Evergrande shares soaring, but they dropped the next day after the company failed to meet another payment deadline on its foreign debt.

On Friday, Evergrande appeared to revise its plan to repay investors in its wealth management unit, promising to make monthly payments of about $1,260 to each investor for three months. It had previously not given a specific repayment amount. In its statement to wealth management investors on Friday, Evergrande said that it plans to “actively raise funds,” and added that the situation was not “ideal.”

At one point, as many as 80 percent of Evergrande employees were asked to put money into wealth management products to help fund its operations. In September, Evergrande employees, contractors and home buyers protested outside company offices and government buildings.

Government officials joined a risk committee created in December to help steer Evergrande and restructure the company.

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