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China Evergrande shares drop 4.8% after chairman trims stake

China Evergrande

Chairman Hui Ka Yan had sold 1.2 billion shares in the company at an average price of $0.29 each, lowering his stake in the real estate developer to 67.9% from 77%

Shares in China Evergrande Group dropped as much as 4.8% on Monday morning, after its chairman Hui Ka Yan trimmed his stake in the cash-strapped property developer to raise nearly $344 million.

The group’s electric vehicle unit, China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group Ltd, also declined more than 5% after it said the company was still exploring ways to pump capital into the unit with different investors.

Evergrande has been scrambling to raise capital as it grapples with more than $300 billion in liabilities and Chinese authorities have told its chairman, Hui Ka Yan, to use some of his personal wealth to help pay bondholders, sources have said.

China’s stressed developers face nearly $1.3 billion of bond payments in December, after a month in which investor sentiment toward the property sector showed signs of stabilising despite fresh signs of liquidity pressure.

Evergrande failed to pay coupons totalling $82.5 million due on Nov. 6 and investors are on tenterhooks to see if it can meet its obligations before a 30-day grace period ends on Dec 6.

The developer disclosed late on Friday that Hui had sold 1.2 billion shares in the company at an average price of HK$2.23 ($0.29) each, a 20% discount to the closing price on November 24, lowering his stake in the Shenzhen-based real estate developer to 67.9% from 77%. The buyers were not disclosed.

Once China’s top-selling developer, Evergrande’s troubles have hit the broader Chinese property sector with a string of debt defaults and credit rating downgrades of its peers in the last couple of months.

Fantasia Holdings suspended trading in company shares on Monday pending release of information. On Thursday, the developer said a winding-up petition was filed against a unit related to an outstanding loan.

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