Chinese property developer Kaisa’s liquidation hearing adjourned to May 27

By Thomson Reuters Apr 28, 2024 | 10:48 PM

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A Hong Kong court adjourned a hearing to liquidate Kaisa Group to May 27, as the embattled Chinese property developer said it aims to iron out restructuring terms in the coming four weeks.

Shenzhen-based Kaisa has been working on an offshore debt restructuring for two years after defaulting on its $12 billion of offshore debt in late 2021.

Kaisa’s lawyer told the court on Monday that progress had been made on the restructuring negotiations with the ad hoc group of bondholders, and that it will try to sign an agreement in the next four weeks.

Citicorp International, the bond trustee of the 2023 notes with an outstanding principal of $750 million, was instructed by the ad hoc group to become the new petitioner in the last hearing in March, after the original petitioner, Broad Peak Investment, withdrew its petition, filed in July.

Many Chinese developers, including giant Country Garden, are facing winding-up petitions filed after the sector plunged into a debt crisis in 2021, resulting in numerous companies defaulting. The Hong Kong High Court in January ordered Evergrande to liquidate.

But a growing list of developers reached restructuring agreement with their creditors. The latest was Shanghai-based CIFI Holdings, which on Monday detailed its plan to cut its offshore debt by up to $4 billion.

Shares of Kaisa jumped 23% on Monday, in line with the performance of other property peers. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index firmed 5.6%, while mainland China’s CSI 300 Real Estate Index rallied 7.3%

Kaisa is China’s second-largest issuer of offshore debt among developers after China Evergrande Group and was the first Chinese property developer to default on its dollar bonds in 2015.

Last month Kaisa reported a widening net losses of 19.9 billion yuan billion yuan for 2023. Its total liabilities and total assets were 226.4 billion yuan and 232.8 billion yuan, respectively, at the end of last year.

(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Gerry Doyle)