1st April 2023 – (Singapore) A superyacht reportedly owned by China Evergrande Group Chairman Hui Ka Yan has sailed into Singapore. The 60-meter (200-feet) yacht named EVENT departed Hong Kong on 25th March and moored in Singapore’s Raffles Marina on Thursday, as per vessel data analysed by Bloomberg. While it is unclear whether Hui was on board the yacht, it is worth noting that he has recently sold his private jets and houses to prop up his embattled company.
Hui Ka Yan, who was once the second-richest person in Asia, has seen his net worth plummet nearly 93%, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His wealth has fallen from $42 billion at its peak in 2017 to about $3 billion. Evergrande, the real estate developer headed by Hui, is China’s most indebted developer with $300 billion in liabilities.
Evergrande has been at the heart of China’s real estate troubles since 2021. The company failed to deliver its preliminary debt restructuring plan last year, leading to further concerns about its future. As a result, Evergrande defaulted on its US dollar bonds in December 2021 after scrambling for months to raise cash to repay creditors, suppliers, and investors.
Evergrande is massive, with about 200,000 employees and more than $110 billion in sales in 2020. It owns more than 1,300 developments in over 280 cities. However, analysts have long been concerned that a collapse of Evergrande could trigger wider risks for China’s property market, hurting homeowners and the broader financial system. Real estate and related industries account for as much as 30% of China’s GDP.
Despite the ongoing turmoil, the docking of Hui’s yacht in Singapore is raising eyebrows. The yacht is valued at around $45 million (about HKD 350 million), according to VesselsValue estimates from 2021. It is ranked 492nd on the world’s largest yacht ranking and was designed by renowned designer Laura Sessa. The yacht’s deck is made of teak, while the hull is steel and the superstructure is aluminum. It can accommodate up to 12 guests and 13 crew members.
As Evergrande struggles to pay off its debts, it has been offloading assets and cutting jobs. The company has been selling its shares in various firms, including internet giant Tencent, to raise cash. However, analysts warn that these measures may not be enough to resolve Evergrande’s financial woes.
The docking of Hui Ka Yan’s superyacht in Singapore amidst Evergrande’s financial troubles has raised questions about the chairman’s priorities. While it is uncertain whether Hui was on board the yacht, the timing of its arrival has not gone unnoticed. The fate of Evergrande remains uncertain, with analysts closely monitoring developments that could have far-reaching implications for China’s economy.