HNA’s Hna-Caissa Travel to buy minority stakes in HK Express
HNA’s unit Hna-Caissa Travel Group announced plans to acquire minority stakes in Hong Kong Express Airways, Ghana’s Africa World Airlines and few other companies, Reuters reports. Transaction prices and stake sizes are not yet determined.
Back in February, 2018, Hna-Caissa Travel scrapped its share private placement plan to raise 3.09 billion yuan ($492 million), citing changes in regulations and market conditions, Reuters reported back then. The company’s share remains suspended since January 19, 2018.
HNA Group is facing financial turmoil for the past year. After China’s private conglomerates, including HNA, went on an unprecedented overseas shopping spree back in 2016, but as an outcome they came under scrutiny from China’s government over the stability of the financial system.
As part of the crackdown, China’s government laid down explicit rules restricting overseas investments in August 2017, in a campaign against irrational acquisitions of assets. The authorities set out three categories -- banned, restricted and encouraged -- outlawing investment in gambling and sex industries, while backing companies to support the nation’s ambitious "Belt and Road" initiative backed by President Xi Jinping, Bloomberg reported.
HNA is under massive restructuring to increase its capacity for raising finance to cover conglomerate’s increasing debts. The move will concentrate most of its aviation and travel businesses into one major subsidiary of the conglomerate, according to Aviation Week.
It was also reported that the conglomerate plans to sell some or its entire 25% stake of Park Hotels & Resorts , after Reuters report of HNA’s struggles to repay its debts as its aviation fuel bill hit $476 million on February 28, 2018. New York Times report that overall debt now amounts to approximately $90 billion.
In addition, Financial Times report that HNA’s affiliate Hong Kong International Construction Investment released a profit warning ahead of its full year financial results expecting a substantial decrease in profits for 2017. The warning comes after heavily-leveraged HNA pledged almost 1.4 billion shares in HKICIM as collateral in late February, the magazine reported.
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