July 31, 2019 / 11:08 PM / 2 months ago

Australian property developer Ralan Group collapses

MELBOURNE, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Australian residential property developer Ralan Group has called in administrators, in the latest sign of protracted weakness in the property market despite efforts by the government to shore up construction.

The apartment developer was in the midst of building or pre-selling more than 3,000 residential units and is estimated to owe around A$500 million ($342 million), administrators Grant Thornton said.

“In terms of the operating businesses within the Group, it is as far as possible, business as usual. We are working closely with key stakeholders to identify and preserve value for creditors,” Said Jahani, a partner at Grant Thornton, said in an emailed statement.

Ralan Group called in administrators on Tuesday, a day before Australia’s top cement maker, Adelaide Brighton, cut its annual profit guidance by as much as 30% due to weak conditions in the once-strong construction sector.

Ralan Group is the second major developer to collapse over the past two months, caught in a squeeze as lenders have tightened credit and apartment sales have dropped. Australian media reported Steller Group decided to sell off its pipeline of projects in May.

Ralan Group was not immediately available to comment.

$1 = 1.4603 Australian dollars Reporting by Sonali Paul; editing by Richard Pullin

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