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China Evergrande Files for US Chapter 15 Bankruptcy Protection

  • China Evergrande has filed for US Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection.
  • It is the world’s most indebted developer with about $340 billion in liabilities as of end-2022.
  • Evergrande’s filing came amid a real-estate crisis and its spillover impact on the economy in China.

Embattled Chinese property developer China Evergrande — the world’s most indebted developer — just filed for bankruptcy protection in the US on Thursday.

This is the latest development in a troubled saga that began when the developer faced a liquidity crunch in 2021. It first defaulted on an offshore dollar bond in December of that year.

Evergrande — which had $300 billion worth of liabilities when troubles first began and saw its liabilities balloon to about $340 billion by the end of 2022 — is seeking protection under Chapter 15 of the US bankruptcy code, according to a Thursday court filing seen by Insider. Chapter 15 protects the US assets of non-US companies undergoing restructurings.

Tianji Holdings, an Evergrande affiliate, also sought Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection on Thursday, per the filing.

Evergrande’s Chapter 15 filing mentions ongoing restructuring proceedings in Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands.

Once China’s second-largest developer, Evergrande faced a liquidity crisis in 2021 that triggered broader concerns about the country’s real-estate sector, which — along with related industries — contributes as much as 30% to the country’s GDP. 

Guangzhou-based Evergrande posted a net loss of 105.91 billion yuan, or $14.5 billion, in 2022, compared with a loss of 476.04 billion yuan in 2021, per results filed to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in July.

Evergrande’s Chapter 15 filing came amid fears of widening economic woes in China as the country’s real-estate crisis emanates. There are concerns that China’s property crisis could spill over into the broader domestic and global economy.

And the hits keep coming for China’s real-estate sector.

Earlier this month, Country Garden, China’s biggest private-sector developer by sales, missed interest payments on two US-dollar-denominated bonds.

Days after Country Garden’s troubles broke, news emerged that a major Chinese trust company Zhongrong International missed repayments on dozens of investment products since late July.

The events are concerning as they point to deepening troubles in the world’s second-largest economy, which has been struggling to recover following nearly three years of on-off COVID-19 lockdowns.

Trading in Evergrande shares was suspended in March 2022.

Evergrande did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

The case is China Evergrande Group and Jimmy Fong, 23-11332, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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