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BUSINESS LIVE: Evergrande nears collapse; Paragon post record profits

BUSINESS LIVE: Evergrande nears collapse; Paragon post record profits; UK biotech star goes Dutch in £1.3bn deal

Financial institutions and developers around the world are on alert last night after Evergrande warned it will not be able to pay back its debts.

The Chinese property giant is understood to be on the brink of collapse with Asian and Western banks braced for the largest default since Lehman Brothers went bust in 2008.

London-listed Paragon Banking has posted a record annual profit on the back of strong demand from professional landlords for buy-to-let properties, which drove a near 30 per cent jump in mortgage lending.

The lender’s statutory pre-tax profits for the 12 months to 30 September rose 80.5 per cent to £213.7million from £118.4million a year ago.

A British biotech star headed by a former adviser to David Cameron is planning to go public on the Dutch stock market in one of Europe’s biggest ever healthcare mergers.

Benevolent AI, which is run by Baroness Shields and uses artificial intelligence to speed up the development of drugs, will join the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange through a reverse takeover by special purpose acquisition company, Odyssey.

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With debts of more than £300billion, Evergrande has been struggling to meet repayments since September. Much of the money is owed to firms outside China