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Evergrande aims to win approval for restructuring proposals early next year

An aerial view shows the 39 buildings developed by China Evergrande Group that authorities have issued demolition order on, on the man-made Ocean Flower Island in Danzhou, Hainan province, China January 6, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song/Files

By Xie Yu

HONG KONG (Reuters) -Embattled property developer China Evergrande Group aims to win creditors’ support for its debt restructuring proposals by as early as the end of February, the company’s lawyers said on Monday.

Once China’s top-selling developer, Evergrade is now at the centre of the country’s property sector crisis. Its $22.7 billion worth of offshore debt, including loans and private bonds, is deemed to be in default after missed payments late last year.

With few fresh funding options and slowing property sales, Evergrande, which has $300 billion in total liabilities, began one of China’s biggest debt-restructuring processes this year.

Evergrande expects to firm up debt restructuring proposals by end-February or early-March, lawyers for the developer told a Hong Kong court, which adjourned a winding-up lawsuit against the developer to March 20, 2023.

Reuters reported earlier this month that Evergrande would sign non-disclosure pacts with bondholders in November to prepare for negotiation in December, with terms to be finalised early next year, citing a source with knowledge of the matter.

An investor in online real estate and automobile marketplace Fangchebao (FCB), an Evergrande unit, filed the winding-up petition in Hong Kong in June because the developer had not honoured a pact to repurchase the shares the investor bought in FCB.

Evergrande and its major offshore credit group have opposed to the winding-up petition, saying the developer was actively pushing forward with the offshore debt restructuring work in the interest of all creditors.

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