China Evergrande liquidation hearing in Hong Kong court adjourned to Jan. 29 By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The company logo is seen on the headquarters of China Evergrande Group in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China September 26, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

By Clare Jim and Xie Yu

HONG KONG (Reuters) -A hearing into a liquidation petition against China Evergrande (HK:) Group was adjourned in a Hong Kong court to next month, with the judge asking the embattled developer to hold discussions with relevant authorities on debt restructuring terms.

A hearing into the petition was adjourned to Jan. 29, the court said on Monday, after Evergrande’s lawyers sought an adjournment, saying no creditors were “actively seeking” liquidation of the developer.

Evergrande, the world’s most indebted property developer with more than $300 billion of total liabilities, defaulted on its offshore debt in late 2021 and became the poster child of a debt crisis that has since engulfed China’s property sector.

The liquidation hearing resumed in the Hong Kong court on Monday amid uncertainty about whether the developer would be able to submit a “concrete” debt restructuring proposal, as ordered by the court in October.

Evergrande last week scrambled to put together a revised restructuring plan.

The Evergrande lawyer told the court the developer expected to “refine” its restructuring proposal in the next five weeks if the adjournment was granted. The judge asked Evergrande to hold direct discussion with “relevant authorities” on the revamped terms.

Liquidation of Evergrande, which listed $240 billion in assets as at June-end, would pile more pressure on the already reeling property sector, which accounts for a quarter of the world’s second-largest economy.

Evergrande’s debt woes have been a major concern for global investors at a time when the economy has struggled to mount a strong post-pandemic recovery, with property sales slowing and hundreds of thousands of homes left unfinished across the country.

Authorities have announced a string of measures to revive the property sector, destabilised in the last few years by the debt woes of giants like Evergrande and Country Garden.

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