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By Bao Zhiming and Denise Jia / Dec 03, 2019 06:10 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Financially strained Chinese conglomerate HNA Group is borrowing new debt through its listed arms to pay back mounting old debt.

Hainan Airlines Co. Ltd., HNA’s flagship listed company, said over the weekend that it completed issuance of 1 billion yuan ($142 million) of ultra-short-term bond to pay down outstanding debt.

Meanwhile, several of HNA’s subsidiaries have recently defaulted on bonds. Grand China Air Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of HNA, failed Nov. 25 to redeem a nonpublic debt financing instrument issued in 2016, Caixin learned from some investors.

Two days earlier, HNA failed to redeem the principal of a creditor’s rights asset-backed financing plan. HNA said it is in active communication with investors regarding the defaults.

HNA is scrambling to raise cash to pay down its pile of debt. In October, it pledged some planes and engines to Export-Import Bank of China, a long-term lender to the group, to obtain a guarantee for a 500 million yuan loan due in July 2022. Last month, a subsidiary of HNA pledged 755 million yuan of HNA equity to China Citic Bank.

HNA posted net losses of 3.5 billion yuan during the first half of 2019, with total debts of 706.7 billion yuan, of which short-term debt was 95.1 billion yuan.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (

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