LeEco’s listed unit stands to lose $2.5 billion in market value

FILE PHOTO: LeEco's new Le Pro3 phone is on display during a press event in San Francisco, California. October 19, 2016. RETUERS/Beck Diefenbach/File Photo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Struggling Chinese conglomerate LeEco could see the market value of its listed unit fall around $2.5 billion should its shares resume trading, showed estimates from three mutual fund investors, as the unit extended a trading suspension.

In separate revaluation statements, Harvest Fund Management Co Ltd, China Post & Capital Fund Management Co Ltd and E Fund Management Co Ltd said they expect shares of Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp Beijing to fall nearly 30% once investors get the chance to react to latest developments.

Leshi could not be reached for comment.

LeEco founder Jia Yueting resigned as chairman of Leshi on Thursday, hours after making a public plea for patience. He had previously said LeEco had grown too quickly from video streaming into consumer electronics and electric vehicles, leading to a cash crunch that has seen a court freeze some assets.

Jia also resigned as Leshi’s chief executive during the trading suspension, which Leshi requested from April 17 due to possible restructuring. On Friday, the firm said it would extend the suspension for as long as another three months.

The revaluation illustrates the impact on investors of China’s lengthy trading suspensions – a major concern of foreign investors.

“One thing portfolio managers hate is suspension of trade,” Anthony Cragg, senior portfolio manager at Wells Fargo Asset Management and China veteran, told Reuters on Wednesday. “You can tolerate losing money, but you cannot tolerate not being able to trade. Suspending a stock is a big no-no.”

Harvest Fund and China Post, both with heavy exposure to Leshi, in separate statements on Friday said they would adjust their valuation of Leshi shares to 22.37 yuan, 27% lower than their last pre-halt closing price of 30.68 yuan.

E Fund on Friday said it would revalue Leshi shares at 22.05 yuan, or 28% lower.

Other major investors included Dacheng Fund Management Co Ltd, Penghua Fund Management Co Ltd and Guangfa Fund Management Co, as per Leshi’s first-quarter earnings report released at the end of April.

In August, Harvest Fund, China Post and Caitong Fund Management Co Ltd bought 81.8 billion privately placed Leshi shares for 45.01 yuan apiece. As of the last market price, their investments had fallen by 32%.

(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Engen Tham; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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