Evergrande founder sells 9% of shares for $ 344 million amid debt crisis

HONG KONG, NOVEMBER 26 (Reuters) – Chairman of China Evergrande Group (3333.HK) Hui Ka Yan sold 1.2 billion shares in the company on Thursday at an average price of HKD 2.23 every Thursday, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange shows.

The share sale, worth a total of HK $ 2.68 billion ($ 344 million), lowers Hui’s stake in the Shenzhen-based real estate company to 67.9% from 77%.

Evergrande has stumbled from debt to deadline as it struggles with more than $ 300 billion in liabilities, and Chinese authorities have told Hui, 63, to use some of his personal fortune to pay bondholders, sources said.

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Hui, who is the property developer’s founder, is now releasing funds by selling luxury assets, including art, calligraphy and three exclusive homes. Read more

China Evergrande Group Chair Hui Ka Yan attends a press conference on the property developer’s annual results in Hong Kong, China March 28, 2017. REUTERS / Bobby Yip / File Photo

Evergrande failed to pay $ 82.5 million in coupons due on Nov. 6, and investors are in doubt as to whether they can meet their obligations before a 30-day grace period ends Dec. 6.

Huis stock sales represented a 19.8% discount to Wednesday’s closing price of HK $ 2.78. Data from the stock exchange shows that block trades at a price of HK $ 2.23 per. share was completed in the pre-market on Thursday.

Prior to the applications, Evergrande shares closed 10.4% at HK $ 2.5, down 2.7% from the wider market. (.HSI).

($ 1 = 7.7959 Hong Kong dollars)

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Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Alexander Smith

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