The Evergrande boss’s luxury businesses spotlight as his company scrambles to pay off its debts

The Evergrande boss's luxury businesses spotlight as his company scrambles to pay off its debts

Evergrande’s troubles in meeting bond repayments have rattled markets and left many of its investors, creditors and suppliers in financial chaos.

Chinese authorities have told Evergrande chairman Hui Ka Yan, 63, to use some of his personal wealth to help pay bondholders, two separate people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters last month.

Highlights

  • “He should be selling his things,” Guo told Reuters. “He had no choice once the authorities made him.”

  • Guo Hui, whose cleaning business is owed more than 18 million yuan ($2.8 million) by Evergrande, had to sell his Porsche Cayenne and an apartment to raise cash and pay debts.

Around HK$300 million was raised to repay an overdue Evergrande bond, local media reported.

Hui pledged one of his Hong Kong mansions of around 5,000 square feet in The Peak, Hong Kong’s most prestigous residential enclave, for a loan from China Construction Bank in October, according to a filing with Hong Kong’s Land Registry.

The tycoon, ranked as Asia’s wealthiest man in 2017, pledged a second luxury house on The Peak to Orix Asia Capital Ltd on Nov 8. for an undisclosed amount, according to the Land Registry.

With sweeping views over the city’s gleaming skyscrapers, the properties are worth around HK$800 million each, an estate agent told Reuters.

Hui and Evergrande did not respond to requests for comment regarding the properties on The Peak. China’s State Council Information Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

LUXURY ASSETS Raised by his grandmother in a rural village, Hui founded Evergrande in 1996 in southern Guangzhou city, supplying low-priced homes and building a fortune.

He developed a passion for calligraphy, art and Koi carp – fish seen as a symbol of good luck and fortune for which he paid tens of millions of yuan, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter. Under Hui’s orders, Evergrande has been selling some art and calligraphy to raise fresh capital, said the source. The source declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the situation.

The source also said Evergrande sold two Gulfstream jets in recent weeks. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month Evergrande raised more than $50 million by selling two of its private jets to American aircraft investors.

Evergrande did not respond to a request for comment regarding the art sale. Reuters could not immediately determine how much had been raised by selling the art pieces or what the money has been used for.