Hui Ka Yan, the chairman of China Evergrande Group, sold 1.2 billion shares in the company on Thursday at an average price of HK$2.23 per share, according to Hong Kong Stock Exchange filings.

Hui's stake in the Shenzhen-based real estate company has been reduced from 77% to 67.9% as a result of the share sale, which is worth a total of HK$2.68 billion ($344 million).

Evergrande has been stumbling from debt deadline to debt deadline as it deals with more than $300 billion in liabilities, and Chinese authorities, according to sources, have told Hui, 63, to use some of his personal wealth to help pay bondholders.

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Hui, the property developer's founder, is now releasing funds by selling high-end assets such as art, calligraphy, and three high-end homes.

Evergrande failed to pay coupons totaling $82.5 million due on November 6, and investors are waiting to see if the company can meet its obligations before a 30-day grace period expires on December 6.

Hui's share sale represented a 19.8% discount to the HK$2.78 closing price on Wednesday. According to exchange data, block trades priced at HK$2.23 per share were executed in the pre-market on Thursday.