HNA Unit to Set Up $3.2 Billion ‘Belt and Road’ Funds
A unit of HNA Group, one of several Chinese conglomerates that has come under scrutiny following massive global buying sprees, said it will set up two funds with 20 billion yuan ($3.2 billion) to promote Beijing’s “Belt and Road” program for infrastructure development in emerging markets.
HNA Capital Group Co. announced the funds’ establishment in conjunction with its signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with China Asia Pacific Assets & Property Rights Exchange Ltd., a Hong Kong company engaged in intellectual property exchange, the company said in a statement.
The funds, which could be denominated in Chinese yuan or foreign currencies, will invest in projects connected with Beijing’s Belt and Road program, which refers to countries along the ancient land-based and maritime Silk Roads connecting China with Europe.
HNA said the funds would invest in “strict accordance with guidelines of the nation’s ‘Belt and Road’ development, including support of ‘Belt and Road’ infrastructure in interior China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.” It added that in addition to infrastructure, the funds would focus on financial services and high-tech projects.
HNA noted that there is still a big gap between demand for financing and support from the financial community for Belt and Road projects, partly due to high risk levels, a need for stronger cooperation and a need for more capital-raising sources. HNA Capital said it would use its own resources to promote such development, including its assets in financial leasing, internet finance and financial technology.
HNA Capital made the pledge as its larger parent comes under the spotlight for a massive spending spree on a wide range of global assets, many of those in the leisure and travel sectors, over the last decade. That binge, including some $50 billion of deals, has left HNA Group saddled with billions of dollars of debt. Concerns about the group’s ability to repay its borrowings have increased, and the shares of many of its units listed in China and Hong Kong have plunged. Seven of its 16 listed units have had their shares suspended from trading pending “planned major asset restructuring.”
Contact reporter Yang Ge (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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