China Evergrande shares plunge more than 80% as trade resumes after 17 months

By Clare Jim

HONG KONG (Reuters) -Shares of China Evergrande Group shed 86.7% early on Monday when trading resumed following a 17 month suspension, after saying it had “adequately” fulfilled all guidance issued by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Evergrande, the world’s most-indebted property developer, is at the centre of a crisis in China’s property sector that since late 2021 has seen a string of debt defaults.

Its shares listed in Hong Kong traded as low as HK$0.22 on Monday, with its market capitalisation shrinking to HK$3.2 billion ($408.02 million).

The stock had been suspended since March 21, 2022. Its Hong Kong-listed units, China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group and Evergrande Property Services Group have both resumed trading in the past month after a 16 month halt.

The resumption of trading in all three companies is crucial for Evergrande Group because its offshore debt restructuring plan includes swapping part of the debt into equity-linked instruments backed by them.

Evergrande would have faced delisting if the suspension had reached 18 months.

The trade resumption also came after the developer on Sunday reported a narrower net loss for the first half of the year due to a rise in revenue.

($1 = 7.8427 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Kim Coghill and Christopher Cushing)