Chinese property developer Sunac posts $2 billion core loss in 2022

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Major property developer Sunac China on Friday logged a net narrowing core loss of 13.86 billion yuan ($2.02 billion) in 2022, as the debt-laden firm slowed its project construction and incurred higher interest expenses.

Over the last two years, property firms in China have either struggled to sell new houses or have sold them at lower prices than expected, though a series of supportive policies from the government drove expectations of a faster recovery of the sector.

Last year’s core net loss, which excludes the revaluation of assets and financial instruments and foreign exchange loss, compares to a 25.30 billion yuan loss reported in 2021.

Sunac also published its overdue 2022 interim results on Friday, posting a core loss of 11.06 billion yuan.

The Beijing-based firm said its shares, which are under a year-long halt, are expected to resume trading in April this year. They had been suspended pending the release of its financial results.

Sunac is among the many Chinese developers that defaulted last year as the sector reeled under a debt crisis. It started recording losses in the second half of 2021.

The property developer said earlier this week it had reached agreements with a group of offshore creditors to convert its debt into new notes and convertible bonds backed by its Hong Kong-listed shares, and shares in its property management unit Sunac Services.

Its chairman Sun Hongbin told investors the developer has been actively working with asset managers and applying for official funding to ensure developments are completed.

“The Group will strive to complete the necessary legal procedures for the offshore debt restructuring within 2023,” Hongbin said in a statement.

($1 = 6.8695 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengaluru and Clare Jim in Hong Kong; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)