China’s Country Garden delays publication of 2023 financial results

By Clare Jim

HONG KONG (Reuters) -Country Garden, China’s largest private property developer, delayed the publication of its 2023 financial results on Thursday saying it needed to collect more information to make appropriate accounting estimates and judgements.

“Due to the continuous volatility of the industry, the operating environment the group is confronting is becoming increasingly complex,” it said in a filing.

The developer, which defaulted on $11 billion of offshore bonds late last year and missed a 96 million yuan ($13.3 million) coupon payment this month, originally scheduled a board meeting on Thursday to approve its 2023 results.

Country Garden shares will be suspended from April 2, pending the publication of the annual results, as is required under listing rules.

The company said the suspension of trading would not have a material impact on its operations, and it will continue to work closely with its auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, to publish the results as soon as practicable, without giving a new publication date.

The company, now in the process of restructuring its offshore debt, also said it remains actively engaged in discussions with the creditors.

Country Garden has hired Kroll to carry out a liquidation analysis ahead of a court hearing in mid-May, Reuters reported on Wednesday, as it pushes ahead with its offshore debt restructuring plan.

China’s property sector has lurched from one crisis to another since 2021 after a regulatory crackdown on high leverage among developers triggered a liquidity crisis.

In an effort to improve liquidity, Country Garden said it is working hard to revitalise large and commercial assets and to reduce operating expenses.

Together with its joint ventures and associates, the group delivered more than 600,000 housing units last year, it added.

The company said in a separate statement that 272 of its projects with a total of 1.7 billion yuan in financing needs have been added onto “white lists” as of March 15, a mechanism aimed at boosting the liquidity in the sector.

Under the mechanism launched in January, city governments should provide a list of local property projects suitable for financing support, and coordinate with local financial institutions to meet the financing needs of these projects.

(Reporting by Clare Jim; editing by Jason Neely)


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