CIFI shares fall further, bonds mixed after clarification

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HONG KONG (Reuters) – Shares of CIFI Holdings fell further on Thursday, even as the Chinese property developer clarified that it was trying to solve payment difficulties tied to a trust product and had repaid interest on time on an offshore bond.

Hong Kong-listed shares of CIFI were down 25.6% at HK$0.64 after hitting a record low of HK$0.63 earlier in the session. The stock fell 32.3% on Wednesday after reports said the company had missed payment on certain non-standard debt.

In a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange late on Wednesday, CIFI said cash distribution met difficulties in relation to a trust product used to raise funds for a project in Tianjin city, as sales were not good.

The company, however, did not elaborate on the product’s value and how much cash distribution was in difficulty.

It said CIFI would “continue to take all practical steps to enhance its efforts to improve its cash flow position”, although the domestic real estate industry is “facing severe difficulties and challenges and the COVID-19 epidemic situation remained volatile”.

The company said it made interest payment on Wednesday in respect to its offshore 6.55% senior notes due 2024.

CIFI’s dollar bonds strengthened marginally across the curve after the filing, but its onshore bonds broadly continued to fall on Thursday.

A broader index tracking mainland developers listed in Hong Kong fell 2.5%, adding to its 6.4% fall on Wednesday and hitting a record low.

CIFI also clarified in the filing that the 30 billion yuan($4.14 billion) cash cited by Chairman Lin Zhong in an internal letter dated Sept. 27 was not audited.

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