SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For The Fiscal Year Ended
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Date of event requiring this shell company report
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People’s Republic of
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People’s Republic of
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(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
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☐ Item 17 ☐ Item 18
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Annual Report for 2020
The filing of the annual report for 2020 was delayed because we required additional time to review certain transactions that Xinyuan's former auditor Ernst & Young Hua Ming LLP, or EY, identified as potential related party transactions.
In order to develop this information, the Board of Directors directed the Audit Committee to review these transactions. The Audit Committee engaged the accounting firm, KPMG Advisory (China) Limited, or KPMG, and the law firm, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, or Quinn Emanuel, to assist the Audit Committee with an internal review of these transactions, or the Internal Review.
The Internal Review took approximately six months. As part of the Internal Review, KPMG and Quinn Emanuel: (i) reviewed the Company's policies and procedures regarding internal controls and related party transactions; (ii) reviewed relevant transactional records; (iii) independently obtained and reviewed bank account lists and bank transaction records for certain third parties and reconciled those records with the Company's books and records; (iv) conducted an e-mail and document review; (v) conducted site visits; (vi) conducted interviews with our employees and certain relevant third-parties; and (vii) tested additional sample bank transactions under a risk-based approach. In conducting the Internal Review, the Internal Review Team regularly received and incorporated input from EY and the Audit Committee.
The Internal Review was completed in September 2021. It concluded that there was no direct evidence that the Company engaged in improper related party transactions. EY, however, does not believe the matters have been fully resolved to its satisfaction. As a result, EY resigned as the Company's external auditors. Accordingly, the Company's financial statements as of and for the two years ended December 31, 2020 have been audited by Union Power HK CPA Limited, or Union Power, as further described in Item 16 herein.
The Internal Review did not identify any material weaknesses in the Company's internal controls. Nonetheless, following the Internal Review, the Audit Committee recommended that the Company engage in remedial efforts to enhance the Company's transactional review process.
We filed our annual report on Form 20-F for 2020 on March 8, 2022.
Annual Report for 2021
We were unable to timely file our Form 20-F annual report for 2021 because Union Power required additional time to complete the audited financial statements. Union Power had less time than it typically would have to complete the audit because of the delayed filing of our annual report for 2020.
Furthermore, Union Power's work was disrupted by the quarantine measures put in place by the Shanghai municipal government as a result of the COVID-19 resurgence in Shanghai in late March and early April 2022, which affected the majority of Union Power's workforce. The on-site audit of our significant investments and the procedures to obtain certain banks’ confirmation letters were delayed.
The quarantine measures in Shanghai were gradually lifted since early June 2022 and Union Power was able to resume in-person operation.
Unless otherwise indicated and except where the context otherwise requires, references in this annual report on Form 20-F to:
|●||“we,” “us,” “our company,” “the Company” “our,” “the Group” or “Xinyuan” refers to Xinyuan Real Estate Co., Ltd., its predecessor entities and its subsidiaries;|
|●||“shares” or “common shares” refers to our common shares, par value US$0.0001 per share;|
|●||“ADSs” refers to our American depositary shares, each of which represents two common shares, and “ADRs” refers to the American depositary receipts that evidence our ADSs;|
|●||“China” or “PRC” refers to the People’s Republic of China, excluding, for the purposes of this Form 20-F only, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau;|
|●||“U.S.” or “United States” refers to the United States of America;|
|●||“GFA” refers to gross floor area. The amounts for “total GFA” in this annual report are the amounts of total saleable residential and commercial GFA and are derived on the following basis:|
|●||for properties that are sold, the stated GFA is based on the sales contracts relating to such property; GFA may be adjusted based on final examination upon delivery of the property;|
|●||for unsold properties that are completed or under construction, the stated GFA is calculated based on the detailed construction blueprint and the calculation method approved by the PRC government for saleable GFA, after necessary adjustments; and|
|●||for properties that are under planning, the stated GFA is based on the land grant contract and our internal projection;|
|●||“RMB” or “Renminbi” refers to the legal currency of China and “US$” or “U.S. dollars” refers to the legal currency of the United States; and|
|●||“sq.m” refers to square meters used as unit of area.|
At present, there is no uniform standard to categorize the different types and sizes of cities in China. In this annual report, we refer to certain larger and more developed cities as tier I, tier II and tier III cities based on the categorization developed by China Business Network Co., Ltd., a financial media group. Their ranking system relies on commercial data from over 170 brands, customer behavior data from 19 internet companies, as well as big data from relevant statistics institutions.
Facts and statistics in this annual report relating to China, the Chinese economy and the China property development industry are sourced from various publicly available government and official sources, as indicated herein and may include projections based on a number of assumptions. We believe that the sources of this information are appropriate sources for such information. However, we cannot independently verify such information. Further, if one or more of the assumptions underlying the market data turn out to be incorrect, the actual results may differ from the projections based on these assumptions.
This annual report includes our audited consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Our financial statements and other financial data included in this annual report are presented in U.S. dollars. Our business and operations are primarily conducted in China through our PRC subsidiaries. The functional currency of our PRC subsidiaries is RMB. The functional currency of our U.S. subsidiaries is the U.S. dollar. The financial statements of our PRC subsidiaries are translated into U.S. dollars, using published exchange rates in China, based on (i) year-end exchange rates for assets and liabilities and (ii) average yearly exchange rates for revenues and expenses. Capital accounts are translated at historical exchange rates when the transactions occurred. The effects of foreign currency translation adjustments are included as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income in our shareholders’ equity. We make no representation that any RMB or U.S. dollar amounts could have been, or could be, converted into U.S. dollar or RMB, as the case may be, at any particular rate or at all.
The RMB is not freely convertible into foreign currency. The PRC government imposes control over its foreign currency reserves in part through direct regulation of the conversion of the RMB into foreign exchange and through restrictions on foreign trade. Since 2005, the People's Bank of China, or the PBOC, has allowed the RMB to fluctuate within a narrow and managed band against a basket of foreign currencies, according to market demand and supply conditions.
Our common shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, or the NYSE, in the form of ADSs under the symbol “XIN.” Each ADS represents two common shares. The closing price of our ADSs on the NYSE as of July 27, 2022 was US$0.72 per ADS.
This annual report contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical facts are forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.
You can identify these forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “is expected to,” “anticipate,” “aim,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “potential,” “continue,” “is/are likely to” or other similar expressions or negatives of such expressions. These forward-looking statements include, among others, statements about:
|●||our anticipated growth strategies;|
|●||our future business development, results of operations and financial condition;|
|●||our expectations with respect to our ability to acquire adequate suitable land use rights for future development; and|
|●||our belief with respect to market opportunities in, and growth prospects of, our target markets.|
We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. However, a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could affect the accuracy of these statements. Among the important factors to consider in evaluating our forward-looking statements are:
|●||our ability to continue to implement our business model successfully;|
|●||our ability to secure adequate financing for our project developments;|
|●||our ability to successfully sell or complete our property projects under construction and planning;|
|●||our ability to enter into new geographic markets or new lines of business and expand our operations;|
|●||the marketing and sales ability of our third-party sales agents;|
|●||the performance of our third party contractors;|
|●||laws, regulations and policies relating to real estate developers and the real estate industry in the markets in which we operate;|
|●||our ability to obtain permits and licenses to carry on our business in compliance with applicable laws and regulations;|
|●||competition from other real estate developers;|
|●||the growth of the real estate industry in the markets in which we operate;|
|●||fluctuations in general economic and business conditions in the markets in which we operate, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemics; and|
|●||volatility of the trading price of our ADSs and risks associated with our ADSs if the trading price remains below US$1.00 for 30 consecutive trading days or more.|
You should read thoroughly this annual report and the documents that we refer to herein with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from and/or worse than what we expect. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements. Other sections of this annual report include additional factors which could adversely impact our business and financial performance, including the risks outlined under “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors.” Moreover, we operate in an evolving environment. New risk factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for our management to predict all risk factors, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.
You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. The forward-looking statements made in this annual report relate only to events or information as of the date on which the statements are made in this annual report. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by applicable securities laws.
ITEM 1IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS
ITEM 2OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE
ITEM 3KEY INFORMATION
B.Capitalization and Indebtedness
C.Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds
Risks Related to Our Business
We are a holding company that depends on dividend payments from our subsidiaries for funding.
We are a holding company established in the Cayman Islands and operate most of our business and operations through our subsidiaries in China. Our ability to pay dividends to our shareholders and to service our indebtedness outside of China depends significantly upon dividends that we receive from our subsidiaries in China. To the extent our U.S., Malaysia and UK operations continue to grow, we may in the future also depend on dividends from our U.S., Malaysia and UK subsidiaries. If our subsidiaries incur indebtedness or losses, such indebtedness or losses may impair their ability to pay dividends or other distributions to us. As a result, our ability to pay dividends and to service our indebtedness will be restricted. Regulations in China currently permit payment of dividends only out of accumulated after-tax profits upon satisfaction of relevant statutory conditions and procedures, if any, determined in accordance with Chinese accounting standards and regulations. Each of our PRC subsidiaries, including wholly foreign-owned enterprises and domestic companies, is required to set aside at least 10.0% of its after-tax profits each year, if any, to fund certain reserve funds until the cumulative amount of such reserves reaches 50.0% of its respective registered capital and, with the approval of a shareholder meeting or general shareholder meeting, a PRC subsidiary may set aside a certain amount of after-tax profits to its discretionary general reserves. As of December 31, 2021, our statutory reserves amounted to US$178.5 million. Our statutory reserves are not distributable as cash dividends. Dividends paid by the PRC subsidiaries may also be subject to PRC withholding tax. In addition, restrictive covenants in bank credit facilities, bonds, other long-term debt agreements, joint venture agreements or other agreements that we or our subsidiaries currently have or may enter into in the future may also restrict the ability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends or make other distributions to us and our ability to receive distributions. Therefore, these restrictions on the availability and usage of our major source of funding may impact our ability to pay dividends to our shareholders and to service our indebtedness.
Our business and prospects are heavily dependent on and may be adversely affected by the performance of the PRC property markets, particularly in Zhengzhou.
Our business and prospects depend on the performance of the PRC property market. As of December 31, 2021, we had a total of 102 property projects covering 20 cities in China at various stages of development. We intend to continue to enhance our presence in targeted high growth cities in China. These property markets may be affected by local, regional, national and global factors, including economic and financial conditions, speculative activities in local markets, demand for and supply of properties, investor confidence, availability of alternative investment choices for property buyers, inflation, government policies, interest rates and availability of capital. Any market downturn in China generally or in cities in which we have or expect to have operations may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Moreover, any oversupply of properties or potential decline in demand for or prices of properties in these cities could also have a material adverse impact on us. In particular, the PRC property market is affected by the recent slowdown of China’s economic growth. There have been increasing concerns over the sustainability of the real estate market growth in China. Any slowdown in the PRC’s economic development could lead to tighter credit markets, increased market volatility, sudden drops in business and consumer confidence and dramatic changes in business and consumer behaviors. In response to their perceived uncertainty in economic conditions, consumers might delay, reduce or cancel purchases of homes, and our homebuyers may also defer, reduce or cancel purchases of our units. We have experienced volatilities in demand from time to time in the recent years due to the strict mortgage policy and other measures taken by the PRC government to slow down the rapid increase in housing prices. To the extent any fluctuations in the Chinese economy significantly affect homebuyers’ demand for our units or change their spending habits, our results of operations may be materially and adversely affected. The PRC economy also faces challenges in the short to medium term. Continued turbulence in the international markets and prolonged declines in consumer spending, including home purchases, as well as any slowdown of economic growth in China, may adversely affect our liquidity and financial condition.
We experienced net losses of US$67.5 million and US$413.3 million in 2020 and 2021, respectively. We may continue to incur losses in the future. The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared assuming that we will continue as a going concern. Our ability to continue as a going concern depends on our ability to generate cash flows from operations and to arrange adequate financing arrangements to support our working capital requirements. There is material uncertainty associated with our ability to continue as a going concern. See "Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects - B. Liquidity and Capital Resources."
Our business requires access to substantial financing. Our failure to obtain adequate financing in a timely manner could severely adversely restrict our ability to complete existing projects, expand our business, or repay our obligations and affect our financial performance and condition.
Our property development business is capital intensive. To date, we have funded our operations primarily through bank borrowings, proceeds from sales and pre-sale of our properties and proceeds from issuance of equity and debt securities. We obtain commercial bank financing for our projects through credit lines extended on a case-by-case basis. Our ability to secure sufficient financing for land use rights acquisition and property development and repayment of our existing onshore and offshore debt obligations depends on a number of factors that are beyond our control, including lenders’ perceptions of our creditworthiness, sufficiency of collateral, if any, market conditions in the capital markets, investors’ perception of our securities, the PRC economy and PRC government regulations that affect the availability and cost of financing for real estate companies or property purchasers.
Since 2003, PRC commercial banks have been prohibited, under the guidelines of the PBOC, from advancing loans to fund the payment of land use rights. We generate significant cash flow through pre-sale, which are subject to government restrictions. In particular, PRC regulations on the pre-sale of properties generally provide that the proceeds from the pre-sale of a real estate project may only be used for the construction of such project. Any additional potential government restrictions on pre-sale could significantly increase our financing needs. Moreover, our ability to move cash through inter-company transfers or transfer funds from onshore subsidiaries to our offshore parent company is limited by PRC government regulations, which limits our ability to use excess cash resources in one subsidiary to fund the obligations of another subsidiary or our offshore parent company. In addition, reserve requirement applicable to PRC commercial banks generally limit, and any increases in such reserve requirements could further limit, the amount of commercial bank credit available to businesses in China, including us.
Furthermore, various other PRC regulations restrict our ability to raise capital through external financing and other methods, including, without limitation, the following:
|●||we cannot borrow from a PRC bank for a particular project if we do not have the land use rights certificate for that project;|
|●||we cannot pre-sell uncompleted residential units in a project prior to achieving certain development milestones specified in related regulations;|
|●||we cannot borrow from a PRC bank for a particular project unless we fund at least 35% of the total investment amount of that project from our own capital;|
|●||property developers are strictly restricted from using the proceeds from a loan obtained from a local bank to fund property developments outside the region where that bank is located; and|
|●||PRC banks are prohibited from accepting properties that have been vacant for more than three years as collateral for loans.|
On February 13, 2017, the Asset Management Association of China issued the Administrative Rules for the Filing of Private Equity and Asset Management Plans by Securities and Futures Institutions No. 4 — Investment in Real Estate Developers and Projects by Private Equity and Asset Management Plans, or Rule 4. Rule 4 provides that the Asset Management Association of China will temporarily suspend accepting any private equity and asset management plan which makes a direct or indirect investment in any ordinary residential property project located in specified cities where the property prices are considered to have risen too fast, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Tianjin, Wuhan, Zhengzhou, Jinan and Chengdu, where the Company operates. In addition, a private equity and asset management plan may not be used to finance any real estate developer, whether in the form of bank entrusted loans, trust plans or transfers of beneficial interests in assets, for the purpose of acquiring land use rights or supplementing working capital.
On August 20, 2020, PBOC and Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, or the MOHURD, jointly held a conference with 12 major real estate development companies in China. At the conference, PBOC and MOHURD proposed a pilot plan to regulate the financing activity of real estate development companies. The pilot plan sets three goals for real estate development companies: the debt asset ratio will not exceed 70% after deducting advance proceeds from projects sold; net debt to equity ratio will not exceed 100%; and the ratio of balance of cash and cash equivalent to short-term borrowings will be at least 1. Based on the number of goals completed, the upper limit of annual growth rate of interest-bearing liabilities of a real estate development company varies from 5% to 15%. The pilot plan was supposed to become a formal policy in 2021, nevertheless, the governmental authority has not issued any relevant regulations or policies.
On December 31, 2020, PBOC and China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, or CBIRC, collectively issued the Notice on the Establishment of a Concentration Administration System for Real Estate Loans from Banking Financial Institutions, or 2021 Notice, which took effect on January 1, 2021. The 2021 Notice divides all Chinese-funded banks into five (5) levels and sets different limitation on banks in different levels to provide real estate loans. For example, the amount of outstanding real estate loans of a bank in Level 1 must not account for more than 40% of its total outstanding RMB loans, while the amount of outstanding real estate loans of a bank in Level 5 must not account for more than 12.5% of its total outstanding loans denominated in RMB.
While the PRC government adopted or adjusted the measures mentioned above and may adopt or adjust other measures in the future seeking to support healthy development of the residential real estate market in China, the government policies significantly impacted the residential real estate market in the past year. For example, a few real estate developers, such as China Evergrande Group, Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd. and Yango Group Co. and us, have experienced decreasing transaction volumes in the Chinese residential real estate market, closing of certain financing opportunities and significant challenges and pressure on short-term liquidity in 2021. We cannot assure you that the PRC government will not adopt additional and more stringent industry policies, regulations and measures in the future, nor can we assure you when or whether the existing policies and regulations will be eased or reversed, or otherwise enhanced to some extent in their implementations. If the policies remain unchanged or become more restrictive, they may continue affecting the growth rate of the Chinese residential real estate market, some of which may cause a decline in transaction volumes and average selling prices, prevent developers from raising the capital they need, increase developers’ costs to start new projects and increase the burdens on developers to secure financing on favorable terms or at all. In addition, the slowdown of China's economic growth as well as the
housing market may result in the banks and other financial institutions becoming more cautious in their lending activities, and therefore adversely impact our ability to secure financing. As a result, our business and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.
In the United States, we currently have three development projects in the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens boroughs of New York City. Pre-sale proceeds (i.e., deposits and other sales proceeds received before the conveyance of title to the buyer) cannot be used to finance project construction under local laws and regulations applicable to the New York projects, so we are financing their development through internal funds and bank loans, causing us to utilize more of our own funds to undertake larger construction debt obligations and to bear higher borrowing costs.
As of December 31, 2021, our contractual obligations amounted to US$4,217.0 million, primarily arising from contracted construction costs or other capital commitments for future property developments and debt obligations. Of this amount, US$2,522.8 million was due within one year.
There can be no assurance that our internally generated cash flow and external financing will be sufficient for us to meet our contractual and financing obligations in a timely manner. Due to the current measures imposed by the PRC government (as well as other measures that may be imposed in the future) which limit our access to additional capital, as well as restrictions imposed on our conduct under existing debt arrangements, we cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain sufficient funding to finance intended purchases of land and land use rights, develop future projects or meet other capital needs as and when required at a commercially reasonable cost or at all. Our failure to obtain adequate financing in a timely manner and on reasonable terms could severely adversely (1) restrict our ability to complete existing projects, expand our business, or repay our obligations and (2) affect our cash flow, liquidity, financial performance and condition.
We are subject to certain restrictive covenants and risks normally associated with debt financing which may limit our ability to take certain corporate actions, including incurring additional debt, which could materially and adversely affect our business and financial condition.
We are subject to certain restrictive covenants in our loan agreements with certain commercial banks. Certain loan agreements contain covenants providing that, among other matters, we or our relevant PRC operating subsidiaries may not enter into mergers, joint ventures or restructurings, decrease our registered share capital, transfer material assets, including shares