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A 114b yuan funding hole looms for developer Evergrande

[SHANGHAI] Hui Ka Yan, China's second-richest man, has 17 billion reasons to keep him awake at night.

His property developer, China Evergrande Group, has debt maturing in 12 months or less that exceeds its cash by 114 billion yuan (S$23 billion) or US$17 billion, its full-year report released late on Tuesday showed. The yawning gap is partly the result of a drop in its cash buffer for the second half of 2018.

The giant funding gap indicates that Mr Hui's efforts to whittle down a US$100 billion debt pile and put the company on a more solid financial footing still have some way to go. It may also explain why the company was willing to pay yields as high as 13.75 per cent on bonds it sold in October - an issue Mr Hui personally invested US$1 billion in.

The firm's shares fell as much as 5 per cent in Hong Kong on Wednesday as a Bloomberg Intelligence index of Chinese developers climbed.

BLOOMBERG

sentifi.com

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