China's Gemdale sees stocks and bonds dive, latest firm affected by property crisis fears

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China's Gemdale saw its stocks and bonds plunge on Tuesday after the resignation of its chairman, becoming the latest major property developer to be caught up in anxiety over the crisis in the country's real estate sector.

Ling Ke, 64, had resigned due to health reasons, Shanghai-listed Gemdale announced on Monday evening, adding that he would be replaced by company president Huang Juncan.

It did not elaborate on the health reasons. Chinese media outlet Yicai on Tuesday quoted a separate company statement as saying that Ling's resignation was a normal transfer of management responsibilities and would not have a big impact on the firm's operations. Gemdale's onshore bonds maturing in 2024, 2025 and 2026 tumbled 25%, 21% and 20% respectively before they were suspended from trade.

The company's shares slid 9% in the morning. Shares in mainland-listed Chinese companies are not suspended from trade until a move exceeds 10%.

Investors were taking no chances given the broader debt problems in the sector, said Ting Meng, a credit analyst at ANZ Bank China.

"Investors are worried about Gemdale's financial condition as the resignation of its chairman was a surprise," she said.

Gemdale did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. It ranked as China's 8th largest developer last year, according to private research firm China Real Estate Information Corp.

It had sales of 221.8 billion yuan ($30.3 billion) last year and its financial fundamentals were stable, the company said in its annual report published in April.

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