By Jiahui Huang

China Vanke said it is facing near-term liquidity stress and will release "a series of plans" to address debt challenges amid a continuing downturn in China's property market. However, it said it is confident in its ability to finish projects.

Vanke, one of China's largest property developers by sales, said late Sunday that it will prioritize efforts to "self-rescue" while reviewing its businesses and completing work on existing projects. It also said it is facing short-term liquidity pressure and operational challenges.

In a statement posted to the company's investor relations WeChat account, Vanke also reiterated its intentions to reduce its debt by 100 billion yuan ($13.82 billion) by the end of 2025, saying it will release plans on how it will address debt pressures.

Vanke, whose largest shareholder is a state-owned subway operator, had interest-bearing debt of CNY320 billion at the end of 2023. It previously announced its intention to trim debt by CNY100 billion in the course of delivering annual results last month.

Vanke's statement, which came days after S&P Global Ratings cut the company's credit rating by three notches and after the company met with analysts of various banks over the weekend, also addressed three market rumors and news concerning the company's financial state.

Media reported that the company's former senior executives Cai Ping and Wang Runchuan went abroad and never came back to China. Rumors have said all roles above the vice president level in Vanke are under border control. The property developer said Cai is currently in the U.S. because his child was born there and needs family company. He resigned in 2023.

Wang resigned for further study in Hong Kong and is currently residing in Shenzhen.

The company's management team can travel normally outside mainland China.

Vanke's shares dropped last week after Chinese media said Xiao Jin, a general manager in its Jinan, Shandong, unit, was taken away by the police and under investigation. The company said the local police clarified that Xiao's case was a personal matter and should "distinguish from Vanke Group and Vanke Jinan unit's normal operations."

For a continuing financial dispute with Vanke's former business partner in Yantai, Shandong, Vanke said it had filed a defamation lawsuit against the company. Vanke said it doesn't transfer benefits to senior executives through the co-investment system as reported by the former partner.

China Vanke's A shares closed 0.6% higher on Monday, while its H shares fell 0.8%.

Write to Jiahui Huang at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-15-24 0627ET