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  25 Oct 2021, 12:22

Evergrande says it has resumed work on 10 stalled projects

 BEIJING, Oct 25, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - Shares of embattled Chinese developer
Evergrande rose Monday after it said it had resumed work on more than 10
projects, as it sought to soothe fears about its debt struggles.

   The liquidity crisis at one of the nation's biggest property developers
has hammered investor sentiment, rattled China's crucial real estate market
and fuelled talk of spillover into the wider economy.

   But the firm -- drowning in a sea of debt worth more than $300 billion --
last week paid interest on an offshore bond just before a Saturday deadline,
averting a default and giving it a much-needed reprieve.

   Evergrande was reported to have missed several offshore bond payments and
while it had a 30-day grace period on some of them, there had been a general
expectation it would not be able to meet its obligations.

   And on Monday investors welcomed an announcement that its Shenzhen
operations had "resumed work and production for more than 10 projects in six
locations".

   Shares in the firm rallied more than four percent in early trade.

   The group had 778 projects spanning 233 cities in China as at end-June,
according to its latest interim report.

   Work at some sites had been halted in recent months, however, while
suppliers and contractors complained the company had yet to pay them.

   The firm has been plunged into crisis since Beijing began last year
clamping down on the country's colossal property sector -- estimates say it
accounts for a quarter of the economy -- in a bid to rein in excessive debt.

   But the measures to restrict borrowing cut off companies' ability to
complete projects.

   Anxious homebuyers earlier told AFP they had turned up at unfinished sites
to demand information.

   "Since the start of the year, strict regulation of the property market has
plunged Evergrande into a crisis vortex," the company said in a statement on
its WeChat account Sunday.

   "How the company will resume work and production on hundreds of projects
across the country, and deliver buildings on schedule, affects the nerves of
the whole society," added Evergrande.

   In a separate statement it provided progress updates on specific projects
and said that "guaranteeing the delivery of buildings" was core to the
company's work.

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