Former tabloid journalist married to runaway billionaire and poker player is among those supporting the world’s most indebted real estate group’s bid to become a leader in electric cars, despite not selling a single vehicle .
Hong Kong-listed shares of Evergrande New Energy Vehicle have risen 81% this year, catapulting the Chinese group’s market capitalization to more over $ 63 billion – above that of traditional rivals such as Ford – even as it struggles to bring its first car to market.
But Evergrande NEV is not just another example of the electric vehicle mania that has swept global markets. The rally is linked to signs that influential funders will continue to support parent company China Evergrande and its network of affiliates, even as it faces pressure from Beijing to bring its more over $ 120 billion in borrowing under control.
“If it’s not a bubble, I don’t know what it is,” said David Blennerhassett, analyst at Quiddity Advisors, of Evergrande NEV stock.
At the end of January, Evergrande NEV announced that a handful of individuals with ties to its parent company and chairman had bought $ 3.4 billion in shares, pushing the share price up more than 50% in only one session.
Hui Ka Yan, who is also the majority owner of Evergrande, was previously the richest man in China. His personal connections extend to poker games with Hong Kong real estate moguls such as Joseph Lau of Chinese Estates, who in 2014 was convicted of bribes and money…
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