Evergrande founder offers staff assurances: state media


The chairman of indebted Chinese housing giant Evergrande has told staff he believes the group will “step out of the darkest moment soon”, state media reported Tuesday, as Asian stock markets panic over fears the conglomerate will default.

The embattled developer has been struggling to appease angry homebuyers and investors as it sways on the brink of collapse with debts exceeding $300 billion.

Xu Jiayin, who founded the company in 1996, told staff in a letter to mark mid-autumn festival that he “firmly believes Evergrande will be able to step out of the darkest moment soon”, reported the state-run Securities Times.

He went on to say Evergrande would increase the full resumption of work and production, ensure the delivery of buildings, and “hand over a responsible answer to home buyers, investors, partners and financial institutions”.

He also thanked staff for their hard work in the letter, as China celebrates a two-day public holiday.  

It came as fears of contagion saw Hong Kong and Tokyo stocks tumble in morning trading, with other property firms in the firing line.

The Evergrande crisis has even triggered rare protests outside the company’s offices in China by investors and suppliers demanding their money — some of whom claim they are owed as much as $1 million.

The company admitted earlier this month that it was under “tremendous pressure” and may not be able to meet its liabilities.