HNA a vic­tim of con­spir­acy against China: co-chair­man

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE - BEI­JING -REUTERS

HNA Group Co.'s se­cond- most- se­nior ex­ec­u­tive ar­gued that the group is a vic­tim of a con­spir­acy against the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and one of the coun­try's most loyal com­pa­nies, ac­cord­ing to a speech to fel­low board mem­bers.

In the Feb. 3 speech, CoChair­man Wang Jian said re­cent at­tacks came from "re­ac­tionary forces from both China and over­seas coun­ter­ing China's rise, and are a ma­jor con­spir­acy against the Com­mu­nist Party Cen­tral Com­mit­tee with Xi Jin­ping at its core," ac­cord­ing to a tran­script of the speech dis­trib­uted to em­ploy­ees, a copy of which was seen by Bloomberg. The aim is to dis­rupt China's fi­nan­cial mar­kets and sub­vert Chi­nese com­mu­nist rule, ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ment.

"We are car­ry­ing out a great trans­for­ma­tion; we are re­al­iz­ing the great dreams of the sec­re­tary gen­eral," Wang said, urg­ing em­ploy­ees to be strong through this tough pe­riod, ac­cord­ing to the tran­script. "They want to dis­rupt the en­tire Chi­nese econ­omy, then dis­rupt HNA, lead­ing to so­cial un­rest, sub­vert­ing the en­tire 19th Party Congress, China's 'Belt and Road' ini­tia­tive and the plan­ning for fur­ther, deeper re­form. This is their con­spir­acy, th­ese are their evil mo­tives, and they've been plot­ting for a long time. "

The Chi­nese con­glom­er­ate has seen its bor­row­ing costs soar af­ter spend­ing tens of bil­lions of dol­lars on a debt-fu­eled buy­ing spree to snap up as­sets such as stakes in Deutsche Bank AG and Hil­ton World­wide Hold­ings Inc. HNA is tar­get­ing to sell 100 bil­lion yuan ($16 bil­lion) in as­sets dur­ing the first half as it faces a po­ten­tial liq­uid­ity short­fall of at least 15 bil­lion yuan this quar­ter, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter have said.

Ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ment, Wang said that the coun­try's over­all strat­egy had been un­der­mined by un­fair cov­er­age by the me­dia. He dis­puted the no­tion that HNA is fac­ing mount­ing debt chal­lenges, say­ing the group's gear­ing ra­tio had fallen for eight con­sec­u­tive years. Wang also de­scribed the scru­tiny HNA had been un­der as not just be­ing un­der a mi­cro­scope, but a nanoscope. A rep­re­sen­ta­tive at HNA didn't re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

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