China’s Evergrande faces investor protests

Editor’s note: Business content from The New York Times will now be included with your subscription to Finance & Commerce. Not a subscriber? Start your subscription here. 


Protesters gathered outside China Evergrande offices in Guangzhou on Tuesday to demand that the indebted real estate developer give them their money back, as the company’s sales across China continued to plunge.

Evergrande, the world’s most indebted developer, has tried for months to signal to homebuyers, employees and investors that its $300 billion debt problem was under control. Just last week, its billionaire founder pledged to restart construction on its many stalled sites.

But the challenges keep mounting.

On Tuesday, Evergrande said that property sales fell 39% last year compared with the previous year, and that it had been ordered to demolish dozens of buildings on the tropical island province of Hainan because of an administrative penalty from local authorities. The company did not say why it had gotten this penalty or exactly what it would do, other than that it would “resolve the issue properly.”

Evergrande has become a symbol of the difficulties facing China’s economy and its once-thriving property sector. After expanding and borrowing at breakneck speed, Evergrande has struggled to find the cash it needs for overdue bills, outstanding loans and back wages for the workers who have built millions of its apartments across China.

Last spring, Evergrande turned to…

Read more…