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Hui Ka Yan Uses $1 Billion Of Personal Fortune To Help Embattled Evergrande

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Chinese billionaire Hui Ka Yan has tapped into his personal wealth and raised about $1 billion for the deeply indebted property developer China Evergrande Group, according to state-affiliated news site Yicai.

The embattled billionaire has been pledging shares and disposing personal assets since July 1. He injected more than 7 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) in cash to help Evergrande improve liquidity and sustain its day-to-day operations, Yicai reported last week, citing anonymous sources. The website is managed by the state-run Shanghai Media Group, according to Yicai’s introduction page.

Evergrande didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment. The company has racked up more than $300 billion in total liabilities, though it has recently managed to narrowly avoid default by paying hundreds of millions of dollars in interests on several offshore notes right before deadline.

Analysts have said the payments are likely to come from Hui’s personal wealth. The billionaire is believed to be under government pressure to make good on Evergrande’s financial obligations, and avoid being held personally culpable. Forbes estimates that Hui still has a net worth of $11.6 billion, of which $8 billion is based on cash dividends received since Evergrande’s initial public offering in 2009.

The billionaire has splurged on luxury assets, which are increasingly in focus as creditors both at home and abroad demand repayment. He is the owner of Event, a 197-foot superyacht currently moored in Hong Kong. Acquired in 2003, the boat now has a value of $47.4 million, according to data provider VesselsValue.

Hui, in the meantime, has pledged two luxury houses in Hong Kong as collateral for a $105 million loan, Bloomberg reported last week. He has sold two private jets for a combined $50 million, and is seeking to sell a much larger Airbus ACJ330 wide-body jet. The VIP- configured plane was acquired for $220 million a few years ago, and the same model has been used by heads of states to travel, Forbes reported earlier this month.

The billionaire, separately, has been offloading Evergrande’s stakes in subsidiaries. The property developer sold last week Evergrande’s entire stake in streaming service provider HengTen Networks Group for $274 million. Its electric-car unit, China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group, raised in the same week $347 million through a top-up placement that reduced Evergrande’s stake from 62.6% to 57.4%.