- Evergrande’s founder, Hui Ka Yan, has been selling personal assets or pledging them to raise funds.
- The money has gone toward bond interest and staff salaries and to keep building projects going.
- A report last month indicated Chinese authorities told Hui to use his money to pay company debt.
China Evergrande’s founder and chairman, Hui Ka Yan, has already used about 7 billion Chinese yuan, or $1.1 billion, of his own money raised from selling and pledging assets to keep the company going, according to China Business News.
Currently, it’s just Hui “personally raising money” for Evergrande, CBN reported, citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter.
With $300 billion in liabilities, the real-estate giant is the world’s most indebted developer. It has managed to pay off several overdue coupons just in time, averting a default that could send the rest of the sector — and possibly the rest of the world — into crisis.
Unnamed sources told Bloomberg in a report last month that Chinese authorities had instructed Hui to use his own money to pay down the debt.
According to CBN, Hui has raised $1.1 billion since July 1 from selling personal assets or pledging them. The money has been injected into Evergrande for basic operations. The company is not conducting any corporate fundraising now but still has to pay bond interest, staff salaries, and keep building projects going, CBN reported.
The outlet did not specify which personal assets Hui sold, but reports of the billionaire pledging and disposing assets have been rife. According to Reuters, Hui has pledged two luxury properties in Hong Kong and sold art and calligraphy from his collection to raise funds.
Evergrande meanwhile, is said to have sold two of the company’s private jets for more than $50 million last month. It has been holding fire sales of its corporate assets, incurring huge losses to free up
Earlier Thursday, Evergrande said it was selling its entire stake in the film and
HengTen Network for 2.13 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $273.5 million — at a loss of 8.5 billion Hong Kong dollars. And last week, Evergrande sold the Dutch electric-motor maker e-Traction for 2 million euros, or $2.27 million — a 97% discount on its purchase price.-television company
Creditors are also eyeing Hui’s other assets, including a 60-meter yacht called Event that is estimated to be worth $60 million and a private Airbus jet, Reuters reported, citing Chinese media reports.
Since Evergrande owes $300 billion, $1.1 billion from Hui’s personal stash wouldn’t make much of a dent in its debt pile, but the effort could still count for something.
“He needs to show that he is using at least some personal assets to pay off some debts,” Zhiwu Chen, the director of the Asia Global Institute think tank, told Bloomberg. “He needs to show a lot of good will in order to avoid more serious consequences,” Chen added.
Evergrande did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.