By P.R. Venkat
Cash-strapped China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group Ltd. has shelved plans to list on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, as the debt crisis at its parent, China Evergrande Group, weighs on market confidence.
The proposed issue of A-Shares “will not proceed further,” the company said late Sunday without elaborating.
In September last year, the electric-vehicle maker had said that it intended to list on the Science and Technology Innovation Board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange by issuing up to 1.56 billion shares.
Separately, in a filing late Friday, the EV maker, also called Evergrande Auto, had said that it was facing a “serious shortage of funds” and might not be able to meet its financial obligations.
It had said that it was still in talks with new investors for potentially investing in the company, and was negotiating about selling some projects and assets in China and abroad.
Evergrande Auto had also warned that if it couldn’t strike a deal soon, it would struggle to pay salaries and other expenses.
Its parent, Shenzhen-based China Evergrande Group (HKG:HK:3333) , is the world’s most indebted real-estate developer and China’s largest issuer of junk-rated debt, with around $19 billion of publicly traded dollar bonds outstanding.
Prices of those bonds have fallen far below face value, reflecting investors’ pessimism about Evergrande’s ability to repay its debts.
The parent had sought to raise cash by selling shares in Evergrande Auto and other subsidiaries, as well as by potentially selling its Hong Kong office building.
In May, Evergrande sold a 2.66% stake in the EV unit for the equivalent of about $1.36 billion, trimming its holding to just under 65%.
China Evergrande Chairman Hui Ka Yan had set out to overtake Tesla Inc. (NAS:TSLA) , local rival NIO Inc. and other big players to build the world’s largest and most powerful EV maker by 2025.
For a while, investors bought into the vision, with Evergrande Auto’s market capitalization hitting $87 billion earlier this year. But the stock has since crashed, and is now down about 93% so far this year.