Here comes another “pandemic” – financial one.
In China, embattled real estate giant Evergrande faces a major moment of truth this week. The company owes an estimated 300 billion dollars, and is expected to default on bond payments. Evergrande operates and develops 1,300 real estate projects across China and employs 200,000 people. The company financed its breakneck expansion with credit and bond issues. But the pandemic has paralyzed its operations. Its debt equates to two percent of Chinese Gross Domestic Product.
Evergrande was always thought to be ‘too big to fail.’ If it topples it could take a number of banks down with it, like Lehman Brothers did in 2008. The risk of defaulting has prompted a sell-off. Evergrande stocks have lost 80 percent of their value since the start of the year.