Chinese shadow bank Zhongzhi faces $36bn shortfall after ‘management ran wild’
Financial group tells investors it is ‘severely insolvent’ after unexpected death of its founder in 2021
Zhongzhi, one of the biggest groups in China’s vast shadow financing market, faces a shortfall of as much as $36.4bn and has warned that it is “severely insolvent” in a letter to investors.The worsening situation at Zhongzhi has put the spotlight on liquidity issues in China’s nearly $3tn shadow financing market and its exposure to the country’s property sector crisis.
Zhongzhi, a sprawling financial conglomerate, wrote in a letter viewed by the Financial Times that its total assets amounted to just Rmb200bn ($28bn) against obligations of up to Rmb460bn.
The company blamed the shortfall on the departure of “multiple senior executives and key personnel” and the 2021 death of founder Xie Zhikun, who “played a pivotal role in decision-making” at the group.