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Troubled China conglomerate said to put all properties on block

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CEFC China Energy Co, the sprawling conglomerate that's come under increasing government scrutiny, plans to sell its entire global property portfolio with a combined book value of over 20 billion yuan (S$4.17 billion), according to people familiar with the matter.

[BEIJING] CEFC China Energy Co, the sprawling conglomerate that's come under increasing government scrutiny, plans to sell its entire global property portfolio with a combined book value of over 20 billion yuan (S$4.17 billion), according to people familiar with the matter.

Almost 100 projects are up for sale, including office buildings, hotels, residential apartments and industrial facilities, said the people, asking not to be identified because the deliberations haven't been publicly disclosed. The properties, mostly located in big Chinese cities, include a smattering of developments in Europe and the US, such as a condominium at the Trump World Tower in Manhattan, the people said.

CEFC, which rose from obscurity in recent years through increasingly ambitious energy and finance deals across Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Russia, joins a growing group of acquisitive Chinese conglomerates including HNA Group Co and Anbang Insurance Group Co that are selling holdings after coming under scrutiny.

Creditors of CEFC have formed a committee to review asset disposals, led by its largest creditor China Development Bank, people familiar with the matter said this week, adding that the Shanghai government has taken control of the firm.

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CEFC didn't immediately respond to requests for comments.

The properties on the block include its headquarters, CEFC Mansion in downtown Shanghai, with a western palace-style design and Roman columns. Others include the Shanghai Tomorrow Tower, some floors in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and multiple villas and high-end apartments across China, the people said. Overseas properties in the Czech Republic and Georgia are also included. CEFC has pledged some properties to raise funds equivalent to almost two-thirds of their total value.

Attention peaked last year when CEFC agreed to take a US$9 billion stake in Russia's state-owned oil giant Rosneft PJSC, raising questions about the company's origins, financing and possible links to the country's military or ruling Communist Party.

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