China’s Evergrande posts $81 billion loss over the past two years

The Evergrande Group headquarters building in Shenzhen is pictured on January 11, 2022 in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province of China.

Liang Xiashun | Visual China Group | Getty Images

China Evergrande Group posted a combined loss of $81 billion in its long overdue earnings report late on Monday.

The world’s most indebted property developer fell into default in 2021 and announced an offshore debt restructuring program in March, having struggled to finish projects and repay suppliers and lenders.

Evergrande’s net losses for 2021 and 2022 were 476 billion yuan ($66.36 billion) and 105.9 billion yuan ($14.76 billion), respectively, as a result of writedowns of properties, return of lands, losses on financial assets and financing costs, the company said.

In its last normal year of operation, 2020, Evergrande posted a net profit of 8.1 billion yuan.

Evergrande’s colossal debt pile in recent years has become the source of serious concern about China’s property sector, a bedrock of the Chinese economy, with defaults and abandoned property projects seen across the country. The company’s proposed restructuring is due to be heard at the High Court on July 24.

JPMorgan estimates that around 50 property developers have defaulted on $100 billion of offshore bonds over the last two years, while dozens have been suspended from trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Sandra Chow, co-head of Asia-Pacific research at CreditSights, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Tuesday that there will be consolidation in China’s property market, which is becoming an “increasingly bifurcated sector.”

CreditSights tracks the monthly contracted sales figures of more than 30 developers, and Chow said only eight had reported increases in their sales numbers.

“Unsurprisingly, all of those are the state-linked or the stronger developers, so we’re seeing this increasing bifurcation where the strong developers are the state-linked, the large players, and the smaller ones are kind of left to languish, and it will be an increasingly consolidated sector,” Chow explained.

“Understandably, if you’re a homebuyer, you’re not going to buy a house from a weak player as well because there’s that risk that the developer will not be able to complete your house on time and then you’re going to be left with that liability, so it’s quite hard to see how the smaller developers will regain homebuyer confidence and then get the cash in to turn around their businesses.”

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