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China's HNA sells property developer unit in US$456m deal

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China's HNA Group is selling a real-estate focused unit for 2.9 billion yuan (S$609.1 million), the firm said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday, amid a broader sell down by the debt-laden conglomerate as it looks to raise funds.

[SHANGHAI] China's HNA Group is selling a real-estate focused unit for 2.9 billion yuan (S$609.1 million), the firm said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday, amid a broader sell down by the debt-laden conglomerate as it looks to raise funds.

HNA Investment Group Co Ltd will sell a subsidiary focused on property assets to developer Fusheng Group, the firm said in a filing to the Shenzhen stock change, booking a 400 million yuan gain from the deal.

HNA has been unloading billions of dollars of assets after a US$50 billion acquisition spree over two years turned a spotlight on its opaque ownership and aggressive use of leverage. The firm has since seen some pending deals collapse.

The firm has faced issues with regulators in several countries, concerned about its murky ownership structure. Capital control restrictions placed by Chinese regulators in recent years have also hit HNA's deal activity.

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Earlier this week HNA dropped its bid for most of SkyBridge Capital, a hedge fund investment firm founded by US President Donald Trump's former aide Anthony Scaramucci, as the deal had been stuck with US regulators for over a year.

Since the start of 2018, the Chinese firm has agreed to sell over US$10 billion worth of real estate in Australia, New York and Hong Kong, along with shares in Deutsche Bank AG, and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.

HNA Group saw its 2017 revenue jump over 200 per cent to 594 billion yuan while net profit rose 80.41 per cent to 2.63 billion yuan, the firm said in filings late last week. Its debt levels and borrowing costs have, however, also risen fast.

REUTERS