EXPLAINER-China’s embattled developer Kaisa Group and the chairman behind it

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HONG KONG, Nov 12 (Businesshala) – After cash-strapped developer China Evergrande here group once again averted a volatile default this week, investor attention is shifting to other Chinese developers with offshore payments due, What group in particular.

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How’s More than $59 million in interest payments due Thursday and Friday, with 30-day grace periods for both. It was not immediately known whether Cassa, who has already missed payments on some money management products at Home, made dollar-bond coupon payments.

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Here are key facts about the developer and its founder:

What is the group like?

The company was founded by Kwok Ying Shing, now 57 years old, in 1999 in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

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In 2015, Kaisa became the first real estate company in China to default on foreign bonds. It bounced back to 2017 and is now China’s No. 25 developer in terms of sales, with projects in 51 cities across the country, focusing on Hong Kong, Macau and the Greater Bay Area of ​​China’s Guangdong province.

Cassa has more offshore bonds than any Chinese developer after Evergrande — $10.9 billion at the end of June.

Dubbed the “King of Urban Renewal” by the Chinese media, Casa has nearly 200 urban renewal projects across China, which generate more than a third of the group’s revenue, with 120 home-bases in Shenzhen, where land is scarce. and home prices are among the highest in the country.

In the first six months of the year, Casa’s contracted sales rose 77% to 63.9 billion yuan ($9.99 billion) from the same period last year. Borrowing rose 2% to 123.8 billion yuan from the end of last year, and assets rose 3% to 319 billion yuan.

Shares of Casa, which have fallen more than 70% this year as the debt crisis among China’s developers escalated, was halted on November 5. Its market value is HK$7.09 billion ($1 billion).

Who is Chairman Kwok?

He was born in Chaozhou, Guangdong, about 300 km (180 mi) northeast of Hong Kong. Little is known about Kwok’s education or work history, but he collected enough money to find Cassa at the age of 35.

According to Chinese media, he and his two younger brothers worked in business and industrial businesses before entering real estate. The younger of the brothers, Kwok Chun Wai, is the chairman of Hong Kong brokerage Fulbright Financial Group.

The chairman and founder of Cassa is strict but reasonable with his employees, and he maintains high standards for himself, one former and two current employees told Businesshala.

A former employee said that Kwok is an excellent swimmer. Cassa has operated sports stadiums and bought Shenzhen Football Club in 2016, hiring Clarence Seidorf from the Netherlands and Sven-Göran Eriksson of Sweden as head coaches for a short time.

Shenzhen and Hong Kong

Kwok is believed to have good relations in Shenzhen due to his involvement in several urban renewal projects, despite the high profit margins other developers avoid.

These projects require redevelopment expertise and require a conversion time of four to 12 years and layers of government approval which can mean political risks.

After former senior Shenzhen executive Jiang Xunyu was arrested on corruption charges in 2014, authorities blocked the sale of most of Cashaa’s Shenzhen projects with little explanation, drying up its cashflow.

Courts across the country froze the company’s assets at the request of its lenders, leading to default the following year.

In recent years, Kwok has mostly lived in Hong Kong, where Kaisa is listed, with two people told of his whereabouts. He became more active in investing in the former British colony last year.

Cassa paid more than $1 billion for four residential sites in the city. It purchased a controlling 28% stake in the newspaper Sing Tao News Corp for $48 million through Kwok’s daughter, Kwok Hiu Ting, vice president of asset management unit Cassa Prosperity.

How and what does it do?

With units listed in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and New York, Cassa operates businesses ranging from medical services and technology to tourism and maritime transportation, together contributing approximately 5% of the group’s revenue.

Cassa Health Group focuses on dental prosthetics, healthcare and sports rehabilitation and, according to its website, has a sales and service network in more than 20 countries, including the United States and Germany.

($1 = 7.7922 Hong Kong Dollar)

($1 = 6.3947 Chinese Yuan Renminbi)

Reporting by Claire Jim; Editing by William Mallard

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