Guangming Daily carried an article on the increased debt among publicly traded real estate developers. The article disclosed that as of April 13, 86 publicly traded real estate companies had filed their 2016 annual report and that their total debt exceeded 2.750 trillion yuan (US$0.4 trillion), up 25.5 percent compared to last year, while their total capital was 3.75 trillion (US$0.54 trillion), up 24.1 percent from last year. Out of 86 real estate companies, 15 to 17 percent of the companies exceeded an 80 percent debt to asset ratio. Thirty-nine to 45 percent of the companies had a total debt exceeding 10 billion yuan (US$1.45 billion), while 17.4 percent of the companies had a debt to asset ratio greater than 80 percent. Based on the available financial data for 63 companies, even though their short term debt dropped by 6.5 billion (US$0.94 billion) their debt was still 108.7 billion yuan (US$15.8 billion). According to the article, most of the companies will face a debt payback peak in 2018 and 2019.
Source: Guangming Daily, April 14, 2017