Trading in China Evergrande Group shares was halted in Hong Kong on Monday, the special administrative region's stock exchange said, a move believed to be linked to financial difficulties the debt-laden major property developer is experiencing.

Hong Kong-based property developer Hopson Development, meanwhile, is planning to take over 51 percent in Evergrande's property management unit Evergrande Property Services Group, the official China Global Television Network quoted a financial news agency as reporting.

On Monday, trading in the shares of Evergrande Property Services Group, which is under China Evergrande Group's wing, and those of Hopson Development were also halted at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, according to Chinese media.

Photo taken on Sept, 29, 2021, shows China Evergrande Group's headquarters (C) in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. The debt-laden property developer said the same day it will sell 1.75 billion non-publicly traded domestic shares in Shengjing Bank, a regional bank, for 9.99 billion yuan to meet its debt obligations. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The operator of the stock market issued notices saying trading in Evergrande, established in the southern province of Guangdong in 1996 by billionaire Xu Jiayin, was halted at 9 a.m.

There remain concerns about the wide-ranging impacts of a possible default by Evergrande, whose liabilities have swelled to around 2 trillion yuan ($310 billion), given that it must continue to make massive interest payments on bonds.

Late last week, Evergrande said it would sell 1.75 billion non-publicly traded domestic shares in Shengjing Bank, a regional bank, to a state-owned firm for 9.99 billion yuan.

Evergrande's stock sale to Shenyang Shengjing Finance Investment Group Co. is aimed at funding its debt obligations, analysts say, adding the transaction effectively constitutes financial aid by the Communist-led government.

The property developer is now headquartered in Shenzhen, a special economic zone near Hong Kong.

The company's main business has been greatly affected by recent government policy designed to prevent real estate prices from spiking. Evergrande has acknowledged its property business has been troubled since early September.

Its construction of condominiums and other facilities has faced delays in various areas in China, prompting buyers to lodge protests against Evergrande.

Sales for the firm, which has been listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 2009, reached 507.2 billion yuan in 2020. It has been ranked 122nd among the world's top 500 enterprises by U.S. business magazine Fortune.

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