Evergrande Borrowed From Everyone

Matt Levine | Bloomberg | Sep 21st, 2021
Category: Financial News


I am very far from an expert on the situation at giant indebted property company China Evergrande Group, but I will say that two things that appear to be true are:

  1. It owes 1.6 million apartments to people who have put down cash deposits, and it may have trouble delivering them; and
  2. It owes billions of dollars in cash to people who have bought “wealth management products” (retail debt instruments), and it will have trouble paying them, to the point that it has offered to give them apartments instead of money.

This strikes me as inefficient. If you have some apartments, you should deliver them to people to whom you owe apartments. Then you take the cash from those people and deliver it to the people to whom you owe cash? Again I claim no expertise here and I am sure they have their reasons, but that’s how I would do it. I gather that the people with the wealth management products do not want the apartments, but the people who have put down deposits for apartments do want the apartments.

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