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That is a question being raised by investors as China’s second largest property group struggles under the weight of more than $300bn of debt (including $20bn in dollar-denominated bonds) and a cooling domestic property market.
But for my money there is another historical parallel to ponder: Hokkaido Takushoku, the Japanese regional bank, which imploded 24 years ago, when more than a tenth of its $75bn loan portfolio turned bad.
At first glance, that comparison might seem odd. Evergrande is a property developer not a lender. But what links them is a question that stalked Japan in 1997 and now hangs over Chinese finance: namely,…