Key Evergrande backer cuts its stake further


Chinese Estates and Chan spent years helping Hui Ka Yan raise cash for his empire and at one point had an Evergrande stake of almost 9%.

HONG KONG: Chinese Estates Holdings Ltd, a long-time supporter of China Evergrande Group, has further cut its stake in the embattled property developer.

The Hong Kong firm, led by chief executive officer Chan Hoi-wan, sold about 270 million Evergrande shares since its last disclosure on Oct 6, lowering its stake to 2.36% as of Friday, according to a company filing. It revised its expected loss if it got rid of all of its holding to HK$10.6bil (US$1.4bil or RM5.9bil) from HK$10.4bil (RM5.6bil) last month.

Chinese Estates and Chan spent years helping Hui Ka Yan raise cash for his empire and at one point had an Evergrande stake of almost 9%.

But as the developer’s woes worsened, Hui’s backers began heading for the exit and started offloading their holdings in August. Since then, the Hong Kong firm offered to go private after its shares slumped as much as 51% in about seven months.

Solar Bright, a British Virgin Islands company ultimately owned by Chan, is making the offer to take Chinese Estates private. The company will let investors cast their vote at a meeting on Dec 17, and it expects a withdrawal from the Hong Kong stock exchange on Jan 13 if the proposal goes through, according to the filing.

Separately, Chinese Estates said it saw a HK$1.4bil (RM0.8bil) loss from offloading its notes in another cash-strapped developer, Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd. Kaisa’s stock slumped 73% this year before trading was halted.

Chan, the wife of tycoon Joseph Lau and Chinese Estates’ CEO since February, controls 75% of the firm with her family. The Lau clan has a net worth of US$6.8bil (RM28.6bil), down 11% this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. ― Bloomberg

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