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Country Garden: Property shares jump on debt reprieve

Vehicles pass by the Country Garden Community in Fuyang city, East China's Anhui province, 3 September, 2023.
Vehicles pass by the Country Garden Community in Fuyang city, East China's Anhui province, 3 September, 2023.

Shares in Chinese property firms have jumped after developer Country Garden reportedly secured an extension to a key debt payment deadline.

Major home builders including Country Garden and Evergrande saw their shares rise in Hong Kong on Monday.

Investors also welcomed moves by Beijing to step up its support for the faltering economy.

It marks some rare, good news for China's crisis-hit real estate industry.

Country Garden's Hong Kong-listed shares were around 15% higher on Monday afternoon.

The company's shares are still down by more than 60% since the start of this year.

Country Garden, which is one of China's biggest property developers, had been due to make payments for a 3.9 billion yuan (£430m; $540m) onshore private bond on Saturday.

The firm avoided defaulting on the debt after Chinese creditors agreed over the weekend to allow it to make the payments in instalments over the next three years, according to reports.

The company has also wired a payment on a 2.85 million Malaysian ringgit (£490,000; $613,000) denominated bond, according to Bloomberg.

However, it is still currently scheduled to make $22m (£17.4m) in debt payments by Wednesday on two US dollar bonds it missed in August.

Country Garden did not immediately respond to a BBC request for comment.

The company's struggles have come into the spotlight in recent months.

Last week, the firm reported a record $6.7bn (£5.2bn) loss for the first six months of the year.

Country Garden said in a statement at the time that it was "deeply remorseful for the unsatisfactory performance."

On Friday Beijing stepped up measures to boost the economy, with major banks paving the way for further cuts in lending rates.

It came as concerns grow about China's property market, which accounts for around a quarter of the world's second largest economy.

Issues with home builders to industries making the goods that go in them - are having a major impact as the economy struggles to recover from the pandemic.

China's real estate industry was rocked when new rules to control the amount of money big real estate firms could borrow were introduced in 2020.

Evergrande, which was once China's top-selling developer, racked up debts of more than $300bn as it expanded aggressively to become one of the country's biggest companies.

Its financial problems have rippled through the country's property industry, with a series of developers defaulting on their debts and leaving building projects unfinished across the country.

Just over a week ago, Evergrande posted a 33bn yuan loss for the first six months of the year.

Its shares fell by almost 80% last Monday, in their first day of trading in Hong Kong for a year and a half.

Evergrande shares have lost more than 99% of their value in the past three years as Beijing cracked down on property firms.

China is also facing various issues - including weak economic growth, ballooning local government debt and record-high youth unemployment.