SHANGHAI/BEIJING, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Shares in Chinese retailer Suning.Com Co Ltd 002024.SZ hit a more than 10-year low, amid lingering worries over its liquidity condition despite efforts by the company to shore up investor confidence.
The stock fell as much as 7.5% to 8.03 yuan in early morning trade, its lowest since November 2014, having dropped nearly 20% this year.
The retreat came after shareholders of Suning Holdings Group, which owns a 3.98% stake in Suning.Com, pledged all of the group's shares to Alibaba's Taobao (China) Software Co., Ltd on Dec. 4, according to a report from National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System on Thursday.
Alibaba and Suning teamed up in 2015 with a purchase of each other's stakes, and currently Taobao holds 19.99% of Suning.com.
Zhang Jindong, founder and major shareholder of Suning.com, together with Zhang Kangyang and Nanjing Runxian, pledged all of their shares in Suning Holdings Group to Taobao, according to the credit information system report.
"The share pledge is normal business cooperation which has no material impact on the strategic development and normal business operations of Suning.com", said a spokesperson from Suning, when asked about the report on Friday.
On Wednesday, Suning.com said it would purchase back 2 billion yuan ($305.84 million) worth of bonds issued, in order to boost investor confidence and maintain stability in its bond prices.
According to a report on company credit search website Qcc.com, Suning.com had a total of 8 billion yuan outstanding bonds, while its parent Suning Appliance Group has 10 billion yuan worth of bonds that will mature later this month.
A string of defaults by highly rated state-owned enterprises shook the country's corporate bond market in November, heightening speculation that Beijing is resuming a long-standing campaign against excessive financial leverage.
($1 = 6.5393 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Luoyan Liu，Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai, and Sophie Yu in Beijing; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
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