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China developer Kaisa says fails to repay $51 million loan, may default on others

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Chinese property developer Kaisa Group Holdings said it had failed to repay a HK$400 million ($51.3 million) loan and warned it may default on more debt, the latest problem to hit the firm amid a downturn in the real estate sector.

In a stock market filing late on Thursday, the company said the payment of the loan and its interest became compulsory on Dec. 31, following the resignation of its chairman Kwok Ying Shing.

The failure to repay the HSBC term loan may trigger default on other loan facilities, debt and equity securities, co-chairman Sun Yuenan said in the filing to the Hong Kong exchange.

The year of China?

Last month, Kaisa said the Chinese authorities had imposed a sales blockage on some its projects in the southern city of Shenzhen.

Independent research firm CreditSights said the Shenzhen projects were expected to account for around a fifth of Kaisa's saleable resources by book value.

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It also said two other senior executives - Vice Chairman Tam Lai Ling and Chief Financial Officer Cheung Hung Kwong - had left in December.

Analysts have questioned the company's fund raising ability since these two executives left, as they were instrumental in arranging Kaisa's offshore debt issues.

Trading in Kaisa's shares, which has a market capitalisation of HK$8.2 billion, was halted on Monday. Its bond yields have also more than trebled, with the yield on its bonds due 2018 rising to more than 29 percent from around 9 percent at the start of the month.

On Friday, its bonds due 2019 and 2020 were both indicated at 40-50 cents on the dollar, after trading as high as 101 and 104 cents on the dollar in December.

Moody's downgraded its credit rating to B3 from B1, warning of further cuts, and Standard & Poor's said its sales and operations could be "significantly affected" over the next year.