Rights issue shrinks to HK$1.65b; executive director missing

Founder's family trustee to be new underwriter; more downgrade pressure

Published Thu, Oct 16, 2014 · 09:50 PM

Hong Kong

STRUGGLING Chinese developer Agile Property Holdings Ltd, whose billionaire founder was detained last month, said on Thursday that one of its executives had disappeared as it announced fresh plans for a life-saving capital increase.

The company, saddled with debt and slumping margins amid China's economic slowdown, said that it now planned a rights issue to raise HK$1.65 billion (S$271 million), much less than the HK$2.79 billion it proposed to raise in September.

Top Coast Investment Ltd, the trustee of the founder's family trust, will underwrite the issue as opposed to HSBC, Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas in the previous plan, it said.

If minority shareholders do not take up any of the offer, Agile said that the controlling Chen family and company directors would increase their stake to 68 per cent from 64 per cent, in what some analysts saw as a sign of confidence in the firm's future. "We view the rights issue as marginally credit positive, as an equity undertaking instead of a shareholder loan, which shows a vote of confidence from the management," said Agnes Wong, a…

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