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Evergrande Takes Market on Wild Ride Before Making Two Last-Minute Bond Payments

This year the Chinese real estate powerhouse has struggled under a debt load of $305 billion and teetered dangerously close to a Lehman Brothers-style default.

On the same day that its grace period was supposed to expire, China Evergrande (EGRNF) made debt payments on two bonds and may have narrowly dodged default yet again.

On Wednesday, one of China's largest real estate developers made interest payments on bonds that mature in 2022 and 2023, the New York Times reported

It may have also made a payment on a third bond set to expire in 2024 but that information has not been confirmed.

The company that employs more than 200,000 people in 280 cities saw its shares drop by nearly 85% this year as it struggled under a debt load of $305 billion and teetered dangerously close to a Lehman Brothers-style default. 

As the company owns over 1,300 real estate projects, a default would reverberate across banks, property owners and institutional investors.  

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Over the last year, China Evergrande has been making frantic movements to avoid defaulting on its loans. 

Back in October, it pulled back on its efforts to sell a stake in its property services company to another developer, while last week it made a $47.5 million coupon payment to bondholders just prior to a grace period expired.

Several such last-minute payments have raised questions about how the company keeps managing to avoid default. 

But not much information on where the money is coming from is available, as China Evergrande has largely avoided making public statements about its financial situation.

Bloomberg has reported that China's political leadership has instructed founder Hui Ka-yan, who was once the richest person in Asia, to bail out the company independently if it comes to bankruptcy.

At the end of Wednesday in Hong Kong time, company stock was up 3.04% to 2.37 Hong Kong Dollars ($0.3 USD).