Connect with us

Energy & Critical Metals

Evergrande’s Liquidity Crisis Becomes Ever Grander

Evergrande’s Liquidity Crisis Becomes Ever Grander

Evergrande’s existential challenges are becoming ever grander by the day.

While we have…

Share this article:



This article was originally published by Zero Hedge
Evergrande's Liquidity Crisis Becomes Ever Grander

Evergrande's existential challenges are becoming ever grander by the day.

While we have long profiled the growing troubles facing China's largest and the world's most indebted property developer, which at the end of 2020 boasted more than $300 billion in total liabilities and which has tried to quell mounting concerns over its financial health since May -  the melting ice cube that is Evergrande (which just one year ago vowed it would magically pivot into electric cars and would become China's "Largest, Most Powerful" EV maker in a few years) had a close encounter with a blowtorch earlier this week when as we noted, the company's shares crashed below liquidation level (i.e., the value of its standalone assets), trading at just 62% of book value following Monday’s plunge, the lowest ever value.

Meanwhile, its Hong Kong-traded shares which trade under the (not so) lucky ticker 3333.HK, have lost more than half their value from YTD highs, The wide deviation from its market value suggests shareholders are pricing in a significant decline in the assets’ earnings power. In terms of dollar amounts, its shares have lost $15 billion in value since this year’s January high.

As we noted a few days ago, the collapse in the valuation of the shares is a problem for a heavily indebted company with narrowing options for raising funds. It’s not just its own shares: subsidiary Evergrande Property Services has lost about $17 billion in value since its February high, while Evergrande New Energy Vehicle is down more than $60 billion in the period. Evergrande controls more than 60% of both firms. The value of Hengten Networks - a Hong Kong-listed internet services provider in which Evergrande has a 38% stake - has dropped about $15 billion.

Some of its affiliates missed payments earlier this year, and Caixin said authorities are probing Evergrande founder Hui Ka Yan's relationship with Shengjing Bank. Evergrande holds a 36% stake in the bank, and Caixin said the bank lent up to $20 billion to Evergrande via direct and indirect channels.

The reason why the company has been hammered is simple: as a result of Beijing's strict deleveraging demands targeting the housing developer sector (hoping to prevent a housing bubble), Evergrande's cash has been shrinking fast, and it's getting worse by the day as the company has entered a classical liquidity run (amid ongoing confusion whether Beijing will bail out the company in a worst case scenario).

After the shares plunged 16% on Monday a Chinese court froze a $20 million bank deposit, a city in Hunan province halted sales at two of the company’s residential projects, alleging the developer didn’t properly handle funds. The suspension will last until Oct. 13 and Evergrande can’t use funds currently deposited in supervised bank accounts, according to a statement. 

To raise the funds, Evergrande has resorted to heavy discounts on its newly built properties to boost sales. In addition, between March and December 2020, the company raised almost $11.5 billion by selling its own equity as well as stakes in its property services, electric vehicle and other units. In March, Evergrande raised $2.1 billion from the sale of a 10% stake in its online home and car sales unit ahead of a planned listing. Last month, the company agreed to sell holdings worth $570 million in its internet unit HengTen Networks and $386 million in property unit China Calxon Group.

Things went from bad to worse on Wednesday, when four of Hong Kong's top banks - HSBC Holdings Plc, Bank of China’s Hong Kong unit, Standard Chartered and Bank of East Asia - stopped providing mortgages to buyers of China Evergrande Group’s unfinished residential properties in Hong Kong, the latest sign of dwindling confidence in the developer’s financial strength.

The mortgage halt “could be a fresh sign banks are protecting themselves as they’re increasingly worried about Evergrande,” Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Daniel Fan and William Hau wrote in a note on Wednesday. The development may push Evergrande toward more “radical action,” such as selling a stake in itself to a state-owned Chinese company or pursuing more wide-ranging asset sales, the analysts wrote.

Evergrande, in a statement, glossed over the dismal development, saying that projects in Hong Kong are progressing as "originally planned."

"There are still other banks maintaining a positive attitude towards mortgages on uncompleted properties, so the impact is believed to be relatively mild," the company said, adding that it would consider letting buyers delay transactions by 60 days if they are impacted.

The report sparked fresh worries over the company's ability to pull off a plan to cut debt by half before the end of 2022.  Under its turnaround plan dubbed "high growth, scale control and debt reduction,'' Evergrande cut total borrowings to 716.5 billion yuan ($110 billion) by the end of last year from a peak of 875 billion yuan in March 2020, according to the developer's annual report. It targets a further cut of 150 billion yuan this year.

As Bloomberg notes, the unusual move by the four Hong Kong mortgage lenders to act in unison underscores how dramatically perceptions of Evergrande have deteriorated in recent weeks. And it's not just the company's stock that is getting hammered: the company’s 2025 dollar note sank by about 6 cents on Wednesday to 49 cents on the dollar, an all time low, and suggesting investors are bracing for a potential default absent a Beijing bailout of course.

An uncontrolled default by Evergrande - one where Beijing does not step in - would likely catastrophic repercussions for China’s financial system, eroding confidence in other highly leveraged property companies, shadow lenders and potentially even some banks, which is why Beijing will never allow it. Still, the status quo is unlikely to persist  - officials from China’s top financial regulator told Evergrande founder Hui Ka Yan at the end of June that he should solve his company’s debt problems as quickly as possible, emphasizing the need to avoid major economic shocks.

Tyler Durden Wed, 07/21/2021 - 18:20

Energy & Critical Metals

Daimler Truck’s powertrain plants in Germany will produce electric drive components

Following intensive talks, Daimler Truck AG and the Works Council have agreed that the three powertrain sites in Gaggenau, Kassel and Mannheim will specialize…

Share this article:

Following intensive talks, Daimler Truck AG and the Works Council have agreed that the three powertrain sites in Gaggenau, Kassel and Mannheim will specialize in different components for electrified drives.

In the future, they will drive the global production of battery-electric and hydrogen-based drive systems in a production and technology network for electric drive components and battery systems, together with the sister plant in Detroit. Significant additional investments in future technologies at the Daimler Truck powertrain plants will drive technological change.

  • The Mercedes-Benz plant in Gaggenau, which specializes in heavy-duty commercial vehicle transmissions, will develop into a competence center for electric drive components as well as the assembly of hydrogen-based fuel cell drive components.

  • The Mercedes-Benz plant in Kassel is expanding its current focus on commercial vehicle axles and will become a competence centre for electric drive systems.

  • The Mercedes-Benz plant in Mannheim, specialized in commercial verhicle engines, is drawing on the more than 25 years of experience of the Competence Center for Emission-free Mobility (KEM) located at the plant and is focusing on battery technologies and high-voltage-systems.

Important scopes for alternative drives, such as the production of electrically driven axle systems, e-motors and inverters, as well as the assembly of fuel cell systems, will be integrated into the powertrain plants in the future, in addition to investments in the reprocessing and recycling of battery systems.

Our industry is undergoing a transformation toward CO2-neutral trucks. Since conventional drive systems will also be with us for some years to come, we are focusing the future orientation of our powertrain plants primarily on flexibility, cost-effectiveness and very well-trained employees. This had to be reconciled in our negotiations with the Works Council. With the production and technology network for electric drive components and battery systems in conjunction with the competence centers at the plants, we have succeeded in doing so. In this way, we are creating optimum conditions for maximum competitiveness for our plants and at the same time laying the foundations for a successful future.

—Yaris Pürsün, Head of Global Powertrain Operations Daimler Truck

Another element of the technology network for electric drive components and battery systems are the innovation laboratories (InnoLabs). In addition to the competence centers, these are being set up at all plants. They specialize in innovative production processes, new technologies and products.

The aim of the InnoLabs is to close the gap between prototype production and series development. Series start-ups are thus to be prepared with maximum efficiency so that products can be transferred from the prototype phase to series production as quickly as possible. With the InnoLab Battery located at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Mannheim, Daimler Truck AG will establish its own pilot battery cell production and thus lay an important foundation stone for future competence in battery technology.

In its transformation toward CO2-neutral transportation, Daimler Truck is focusing on two all-electric drive technologies: battery and hydrogen-based fuel cell. With these, every customer application can be covered with full flexibility in terms of routes—from well-plannable, urban distribution transport to multi-day transports that are difficult to plan. Which solution is used by the customer depends on the specific application.

As the first battery-electric truck, the Mercedes-Benz eActros for routes in distribution transport will go into series production at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth in October 2021, followed by the eEconic next year. The battery-electric eActros LongHaul for long-distance transport will follow from the middle of the decade. Key components be manufactured at the powertrain plants in the future.

In addition to the products, the powertrain plants are to become CO2-neutral from 2022, just like all other European Daimler Truck plants. This will be made possible, among other things, by a green power concept at Daimler: CO2-free power procurement from renewable energy sources will form the basis for CO2-neutral production. As part of this, the sites will purchase electricity from wind and solar farms as well as hydropower plants from 2022 onwards. On the way to becoming green production sites, the Mercedes-Benz powertrain plants are also to operate CO2-free in the long term by successively establishing fully renewable energy systems over the next few years.

The sister plant in Detroit, which is part of the global production network for powertrain components, will continue to strengthen its role in the US market and, as a competence center for electric powertrain components, make an important contribution to shaping sustainable transportation in the American market.

Continue Reading

Energy & Critical Metals

Tata Steel contracts for 27 electric trucks for transportation of finished steel in India

As part of its sustainability initiative, Tata Steel is partnering with an Indian start-up to deploy electric trucks for its steel transportin India. This…

Share this article:

As part of its sustainability initiative, Tata Steel is partnering with an Indian start-up to deploy electric trucks for its steel transportin India. This marks the first use of EVs by any steel producer in the country for transportation of finished steel.

The electric trucks feature a 230.4 kWh Lithium-ion battery pack with a cooling system and a battery management system giving it capability to operate at ambient temperatures upto 60 °C (140 °F). The battery pack will be powered by a 160-kWh charger setup which would be able to charge the battery from 0 to 100% in 90 min. With zero tail-pipe emission, each electric vehicle would reduce the GHG footprint by more than 125 tCO2e every year.

Tata Steel has contracted for 27 EVs, each with a carrying capacity 35 tonnes of steel (minimum capacity). The company plans to deploy 15 EVs at its Jamshedpur plant and 12 EVs at its Sahibabad plant. The first set of EVs for Tata Steel are being put in operation between Tata Steel BSL’s Sahibabad Plant and Pilkhuwa Stockyard in Uttar Pradesh.

At a virtual ceremony organized on July 29, Tata Steel formally flagged-off the loaded vehicle at the Pilkhuwa Stockyard to move to the Sahibabad plant, 38 km away.

Continue Reading

Energy & Critical Metals

Tesla Is Hiking Prices In The U.S. While Slashing Them In China

Tesla Is Hiking Prices In The U.S. While Slashing Them In China

After posting its most recent earnings "beat", Tesla is taking on two starkly…

Share this article:

Tesla Is Hiking Prices In The U.S. While Slashing Them In China

After posting its most recent earnings "beat", Tesla is taking on two starkly different strategies for its U.S. and its China business. 

In the United States, the automaker is raising prices in an attempt to boost profit margins, while in China it is keeping prices steady in what is likely an attempt to drum up more demand, Reuters reported

So far, Tesla has raised the price of its Model 3 and Model Y "about a dozen times" in the U.S. this year, the report notes. At the same time, the company also introduced an affordable version of its Model Y in China.

Tesla isn't just facing increased scrutiny in China from its citizens and the government, but is also running face-first into a wall of Chinese EV competitors. 

Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein has questioned demand in China as a result of the introduction of the lower priced Model Y. He has said that the model "may make sustained margin improvement difficult". Chinese owners were "were less enthusiastic and had lower repurchase intentions than owners in the United States and Europe," a Bernstein survey recently showed.

Meanwhile in the U.S., Tesla continues to raise the price of its Model Y long range, which is now priced at $53,990. In China, the more affordable Model Y is priced at $42,394.

Roth Capital Partners analyst Craig Irwin told Reuters: "I think Tesla is looking to be as competitive as it can be in China. Lower prices will be a part of that aggressive market positioning. There is a very large difference in battery prices in the U.S. and China, as well as local vehicle manufacturing costs."

Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Nicholas Hyett added: "It wasn't so long ago that the group was trimming prices in the U.S. to gain scale and maximize profitability, and it feels like we're now seeing that in China too."

Gene Munster at Loup Ventures attests that the lower prices in China could "have a lasting effect" for the company in the country: "Teslas are on average 3x the cost of a typical EV made in China so they have to be priced less than the U.S. to compete. Prices of Teslas in China will be below (the) rest of the world for the next decade."

Tesla's market share in China has fallen to 11% in the battery electric vehicle market. China makes up 44% of the global EV market. 




Tyler Durden Fri, 07/30/2021 - 10:36
Continue Reading