China’s Kaisa Group liquidation petition adjourned by Hong Kong court

By Thomson Reuters Jun 23, 2024 | 9:12 PM

By Clare Jim

HONG KONG (Reuters) -A Hong Kong court on Monday adjourned a hearing into a petition seeking liquidation of Kaisa Group until Aug. 12, giving the embattled Chinese developer some respite as it works on its debt restructuring plan.

The Shenzhen-based developer has been working to restructure its offshore debt for two years after defaulting on $12 billion in offshore debt in late 2021.

“There are seven members in the AHG and it takes time to pin down final small details,” Kaisa group senior advisor LL Tam said on Monday after the hearing, referring to the ad hoc bondholders group. The developer hopes to sign an agreement within the next fortnight, he said.

Justice Peter Ng told the court Kaisa “really has no excuse if (there is) no progress”.

Citicorp International, the trustee of a major group of bondholders, has been acting as petitioner since March after a former petitioner withdrew.

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

China Evergrande was ordered to liquidate by a Hong Kong court earlier this year and a growing list of companies in the sector, including Country Garden, are fighting against liquidation petitions filed by creditors.

Kaisa Chairman Kwok Ying Shing returned to mainland China from Hong Kong for the first time in almost a decade to get regulatory approval for an offshore debt restructuring, Reuters reported last week.

Kwok travelled to Shenzhen for talks with a government committee and onshore regulators about two months ago and is still there, sources said.

The developer originally told the Hong Kong court in April that it aimed to iron out the terms by the end of May.

(Reporting by Clare Jim in Hong Kong; Editing by Kim Coghill and Christopher Cushing)