The Chinese suffer the same disease as most of the rest of the world: too much debt. However, their system is more opaque than most of the rest of the world, so it’s hard to ascertain total debt or where it resides within that system. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
When even George Soros cautions that China is about to face a major financial crisis, writing in an FT op-ed that China‘s property boom is coming to an end, and that Evergrande – the largest real estate company which it over $300 billion in debt has been quietly dubbed China’s Lehman – “is over-indebted and in danger of default. This could cause a crash.”
But it’s not just Soros – overnight, the company itself, whose plight we have chronicled for the past 12 months while others have only recently woken up to its threat – warned that it risks defaulting on borrowings if its all-out effort to raise cash falls short, rattling bond investors in the world’s most indebted developer.
“The group has risks of defaults on borrowings and cases of litigation outside of its normal course of business,” the Shenzhen-based company said in an earnings statement on Tuesday. “Shareholders and potential investors are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the securities of the group.”
As previously reported, the cash-crunched company said it was exploring the sale of interests in its listed electric vehicle and property services units, as well as other assets, and seeking to bring in new investors and renew borrowings. But sharp discounts to swiftly offload apartments at a loss – the developer plans to sell its Hong Kong office tower HQ to Yuexiu Property Co. for just HK$10.5 billion ($1.3 billion), a third less than the HK$15.6 billion it sought – cut into margins, helping push net income down 29% to 10.5 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in the first half of the year, in line with an earlier profit warning.