• By Mariko Oi
  • Business reporter

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Country Garden said last week it would delay its annual earnings reporting as it faces a liquidation petition

Crisis-hit Chinese property developer Country Garden has suspended trading of its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after delaying the publication of its annual financial results.

The company said last week it needed more time to gather information as it restructured its debt.

The country defaulted on its foreign debt payments last year and is facing a liquidation petition.

In January, a Hong Kong court ordered the liquidation of rival real estate giant China Evergrande.

The first hearing on Country Garden’s application for winding up, filed by Ever Credit Ltd, is scheduled for May 17.

Ever Credit is part of Kingboard Holdings, a laminate maker and real estate investor.

The suspension of Country Garden’s shares came as Hong Kong’s stock market reopened after the Easter weekend.

Also on Tuesday, shares in Chinese state-backed property developer China Vanke fell to a record low.

On Friday, the company reported a more than 50% drop in its annual profit and told investors it wanted to boost its cash flow by reducing debt over the next two years.

China’s real estate sector has been facing intense financial pressure since 2021, when the government introduced measures to restrict the amount big developers could borrow.

Several major Chinese property developers, including Evergrande and Country Garden, have defaulted on their debts in recent years.

Problems in the country’s real estate market have major consequences, as the sector accounts for about a third of the economy.

Beijing has announced several measures to stimulate housing demand.

Last month, the country’s financial markets regulator accused Evergrande and its founder, Hui Ka Yan, of inflating revenues by $78 billion in the two years before the company defaulted on its debt.

Hengda Real Estate, the company’s mainland operation, was fined $583.5 million, while Mr Hui faces a lifetime ban from China’s financial markets.

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