Most people won’t have heard of the Chinese property developer Kaisa Group.
But as China’s economy logs it slowest growth in more than two decades, the company’s troubles underline the country’s wider problems.
Kaisa Group, based in the sprawling industrial city of Shenzhen, missed a debt payment of $23m (£15m) earlier this month, unnerving the local stock and bond markets.
And investors across the globe, not just in China, are paying close attention to the company’s fate.
Despite what appeared to be a healthy balance sheet, the firm ran into problems after the local government blocked sales of its property units without any explanation.
The company’s chairman Kwok Ying Shing and other key executives have since stepped down, and several creditors are now asking a court to freeze its assets.
Its Hong Kong-listed shares were suspended in December after losing about half of their market value and ratings agencies have downgraded the firm’s credit outlook citing a likely default on its debt obligations.
There are concerns it may become the first major Chinese real estate firm to go bust, an outcome which would signal growing financial stress not just in the property sector but the wider economy.
China’s real estate sector accounts to about a third of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), meaning that any downturn in the housing market will lead to a drop in growth.
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