It's been a tumultuous start to 2018 for HNA, which has invested billions of dollars in overseas hospitality and travel other companies in recent years. The group is showing signs of weakness as it gets pressured by the Chinese government, considers selling various stakes, and asks for loan extensions.
A unit of HNA Group Co. sought more time to complete the arrangement of a second bridge loan it took to finance a luxury real-estate development in Hong Kong as the Chinese conglomerate juggles its borrowings following a debt-fueled acquisition spree.
Hong Kong International Investment Group Co. needs “extra time” and the loan has been extended for six months through July 15, it said in an emailed statement on Monday.
This is the second time that HNA, which has spent tens of billions of dollars in acquisitions in recent years, protracted a debt arrangement for the real estate project in the former Kai Tak airport, where residential apartments are scheduled to go on sale in the third quarter of 2019. Of the four bridge loans taken out for the development, one was already extended by three months till Feb. 23.
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“We have planned meticulously on all aspects of the development and funding of the project, and the company has a good relationship with the bankers,” according to the statement. “We can speak with confidence that we have secured sufficient capital to support the development of this project and the project will proceed smoothly as planned.”
HNA, which spent $3.5 billion on land purchase in the city, has two other loans related to Kai Tak coming due in February and June, people familiar with the matter said earlier. Some units missed payments due to several Chinese banks in recent weeks, prompting three lenders to freeze some of the borrowers’ unused credit lines, people with knowledge of the matter said this month.
Separately, HNA’s Tianjin Tianhai Investment Co. said Monday that it will disclose details of an asset restructuring before Feb. 15 and that its stock will remain halted from trading. Shares of the group’s flagship Hainan Airlines Holding Co. have also been suspended, pending the announcement of a possible “major assets restructuring.”
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Photo Credit: HNA's debt crisis has extended to Hong Kong. Pictured is the HNA Group building in Beijing. Prudence Ho / Bloomberg