Future Land Development Holdings Ltd’s 57-year-old founder Wang Zhenhua has been detained by Shanghai police, triggering an exodus from the property developer’s bonds. The Company reported in an exchange filing late on 3 July that their billionaire founder and chairman was being held in criminal custody for “personal reasons”, and that his son will be replacing him as company chairman. Wang owns about 70% of Future Land, which is active in China’s Yangtze River Delta region. The Shanghai-based company, which owns more than 100 shopping malls in China, reported revenue of 54.8 billion yuan (US$8 billion) in 2018.
News of the detention sent Future Land’s dollar bonds due 2023 tumbling by the most since they were issued in April. Their 7.5% bonds due 2021 that were issued in January 2019 traded to yield 10.28% on the negative news, as compared to 5.4% before. Similarly, Future Land’s 5% bonds due 2020 which were yielding 5% on 2 July traded up to 10.43% after media reports of the Wang’s detention.