Cash-strapped developer China Evergrande Group (恆大集團) has begun repaying investors in its wealth management products with real estate, said Hengda Real Estate Group Co Ltd (恆大地產), its main unit.
Evergrande, with more than US$300 billion in liabilities, is in the throes of a liquidity crisis that has left it racing to raise funds to pay its many lenders and suppliers.
It has a bond interest payment of US$83.5 million due on Thursday.
The company said on WeChat on Saturday that investors interested in redeeming wealth management products for physical assets should contact their investment consultants or visit local offices.
Financial news outlet Caixin on Sunday reported that an estimated 40 billion yuan (US$6.19 billion) in Evergrande wealth management products are outstanding. Such products are typically held by retail investors.
Specific payment methods and details are subject to local conditions, a customer service representative said on Sunday.
A proposal showed that wealth management product investors could choose from discounted apartments, office space, retail space or parking lots for repayment.
Earlier this month, a stock exchange filing showed that Evergrande had repaid 219.5 million yuan in overdue debts due to supplier Skshu Paint Co Ltd (三棵樹塗料) in the form of apartments in three unfinished property projects.
On Sept. 10, Evergrande said it would repay all of its matured wealth management products as soon as possible.
Some of the biggest investors in emerging markets had significant holdings in Evergrande bonds, their latest filings showed.
Ashmore Group PLC, a London-based money manager that specializes in buying emerging-market debt, was one of the biggest holders of the firm’s bonds with more than US$400 million, filing data at the end of June showed.
BlackRock Inc, UBS Group AG and HSBC Holdings PLC were also large owners, many of them held by vehicles that focus on riskier emerging market or Asian credits. The size of the companies’ holdings might have changed since the fund documents were filed.
Law firm Kirkland & Ellis and investment bank Moelis & Co have been hired as advisers by some bondholders.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg
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