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ZHENJIANG, China: This aerial photo taken on October 31, 2021 shows a logo of Chinese property developer Country Garden on top of a building in Zhenjiang in China's eastern Jiangsu province. –AFP
ZHENJIANG, China: This aerial photo taken on October 31, 2021 shows a logo of Chinese property developer Country Garden on top of a building in Zhenjiang in China's eastern Jiangsu province. –AFP
Shares in Country Garden suspended in Hong Kong

HONG KONG: Trading in debt-ridden Chinese property developer Country Garden was suspended in Hong Kong on Tuesday, days after it postponed the release of its 2023 results. The firm is among a number of China’s largest developers battered by a crisis in the country’s property sector and struggling under a mountain of debt, fuelling concerns about the stability of the world’s second-largest economy.

“At the request of the company, trading in the shares of the company on the stock exchange will be suspended... pending publication of the 2023 Annual Results,” Country Garden said in a Hong Kong exchange filing. The real estate behemoth on Thursday postponed the expected release of its 2023 results, saying it “needs to collect more information to make appropriate accounting estimates and judgments”.

“Due to the continuous volatility of the industry, the operating environment the group (is) confronting is becoming increasingly complex,” the statement added. Chinese property firms Modern Land, Central China Management and Ronshine China were among several other firms whose shares were also suspended in Hong Kong. Country Garden in 2022 suffered its first full-year loss—more than 6 billion yuan ($844 million) -- since listing in 2007.

The company has defaulted on offshore payments and is facing a winding-up petition in Hong Kong.

The petition, filed in February, came weeks after Hong Kong’s High Court granted a similar petition against developer Evergrande, kickstarting its offshore assets liquidation and management replacement. Country Garden—China’s seventh-largest developer in terms of sales last year—has incurred debts estimated in June at 1.36 trillion yuan ($191 billion). – AFP

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