We’ll never know for sure how he did it. But somehow, the man at the helm of the listing corporate hulk known as China Evergrande last week managed to keep his vessel afloat.
Xu Jiang, once China’s third-richest man with a personal stash of $US30 billion ($41 billion), played it right down to the wire and kept everyone in suspense until the final minute.
Exactly 30 days into the grace period that followed the property development company’s failure last month to repay bondholders, Mr Xu stumped up the $US148 million ($202 million) owing. Failure would have meant a formal default which, in turn, would trigger a series of cross defaults on other foreign-owned debts.
That would have meant curtains for the company.
It also would have lit the fuse on a debt time bomb that has engulfed other major developers and plunged China’s $US5 trillion ($6.8 trillion) property sector into a crisis that threatens to spill over into the Middle Kingdom’s financial system and…