Hang Seng Bank files winding-up petition seeking over HK$2 billion from Times China


16th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) Hang Seng Bank Ltd. has lodged a winding-up petition against Times China Holdings Ltd. The petition, filed in Hong Kong’s High Court, relates to financial liabilities amounting to approximately $173.2 million and HK$731.4 million ($93.4 million), the property developer disclosed in a recent submission to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

This legal action marks another chapter in the ongoing liquidity crisis that has plagued China’s real estate developers. Times China, once ranked as the nation’s 51st-largest builder by contracted sales, had previously defaulted on two dollar-denominated bonds and ceased offshore debt payments. This development was particularly notable given the array of government measures introduced to alleviate the sector’s financial strain.

The court has scheduled the initial hearing for 3rd July, 2024. In response to the filing, Times China has expressed its intention to vigorously oppose the petition, which it believes does not represent the interests of other stakeholders and could potentially impair the company’s value. The firm is also actively engaging with its offshore creditors to negotiate and finalise a restructuring plan, aiming to announce the terms to the market promptly.

This action by Hang Seng Bank follows a similar step taken earlier this month when a state-owned bank filed for the liquidation of another major developer, reflecting a growing impatience among creditors regarding the slow progress of debt restructuring talks.