Business, China

China banks that funded HNA’s growth are said to halt new loans

Several Chinese banks that helped fund HNA Group Co.’s global acquisition spree are losing their appetite for financing the company, according to people familiar with the matter.

Three of the banks have decided to stop extending new loans to HNA, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. One made the decision early this year, the second acted a couple of months ago and the third moved recently, the people said. A fourth bank trimmed its exposure to the company over the past few months and reduced the size of a credit line, one of the people said, without providing further details. The four lenders were among the eight largest providers of credit lines to HNA as of 2015, according to the latest publicly disclosed figures.

Behind China’s boldest dealmaker HNA are billions in pledged shares

HNA, one of China’s most acquisitive companies, took on at least US$73 billion of debt as it transformed from an obscure regional airline into a worldwide conglomerate with multibillion dollar stakes in Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG. While HNA has cash on hand and there’s no indication that the four banks have rebuffed requests for new funding or demanded early repayment, a dearth of fresh credit could further restrain HNA’s ambitions as Chinese regulators clamp down on the offshore deals to stem capital outflows and shore up the yuan.

The pullback by Chinese lenders began even before news emerged that authorities had started scrutinising some of the country’s most active overseas dealmakers.

Last month, regulators began assessing the dangers to China’s banking system posed by HNA and other prolific acquirers, including Fosun International Ltd. and billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group Co.

President Xi Jinping signed off on a decision to bar state-owned banks from making new loans to Wanda for its overseas expansion, according to a Wall Street Journal report. At a twice-a-decade conference on financial regulation convened by Xi this month, policy makers pledged to rein in corporate borrowing and said that preventing systemic risk…

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