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Glorious property shares halted pending privatisation notice

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[HONG KONG] Shares in Chinese property developer Glorious Property Holdings Ltd were suspended Monday in Hong Kong pending an announcement about a privatisation bid by the company's founder and controlling shareholder.

Glorious Property requested a halt in trading at 9 am local time ahead of an announcement "containing inside information in relation to a possible privatization by the controlling shareholder of the company", the Shanghai-based developer said in an statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Founder Zhang Zhi Rong held 63.89 per cent of the shares as of the end of December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Glorious, which reported that its net loss widened in 2015, said last year that it was selling assets and negotiating with lenders to ease its financial burden after falling behind in servicing its loans.

The shares fell 13 per cent this year before the announcement, giving the company a market capitalisation of just over HK$6 billion (S$1.04 billion). The company's 13.25 per cent dollar bonds were little changed Monday at about 77 US cents on the dollar, leaving them down 8.5 US cents this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The group's net loss widened to 3.88 billion yuan (S$784.3 million) in 2015 from a loss of 3 billion yuan in the previous year, Glorious reported in April.

Glorious's external auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said the developer hadn't repaid 5.2 billion yuan of loan principal and interest in accordance with the repayment schedules as of Dec 31.

This isn't the first time the company is trying to go private.

Mr Zhang, in 2013, offered as much as HK$4.57 billion for the developer, an offer that was rejected by shareholders the following year.