State media praise for M&A deals gives wings to Hainan Air owner’s shares

HNA Holding’s shares in Hong Kong surge 25 per cent before paring gains

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 October, 2017, 2:14pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 October, 2017, 10:58pm

The Hong Kong-listed shares of HNA Holding Group, whose parent HNA Group owns stakes in Deutsche Bank and Hilton hotels, soared 26 per cent on Wednesday, after state media praised the conglomerate’s US$1 billion acquisition of Singapore’s CWT as one of the top deals in China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

HNA Holding’s shares closed at 51 Hong Kong cents, up 26 per cent from the previous session.

The firm’s acquisition of the logistics solution provider CWT has been selected as one of the top 10 mergers and acquisition deals in China’s belt and road strategy by Morning Whistle, a Chinese overseas M&A data provider, HNA said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Owner of Hilton hotels, Hainan Air spends US$7.6 billion assembling online tour business

The deal also received affirmation from state media. Last week, Xinhua News Agency published an analysis about HNA being selected by Morning Whistle and said the acquisition of CWT is “small but beautiful”, which expands the company’s services business.

HNA is regarded as an “excellent example” by the industry to fulfil China’s belt and road plan, and the firm has achieved a “win-win” outcome by combining the initiative into its overseas business expansion, Xinhua said.

This month, China’s Ministry of Commerce gave the green light to HNA Group’s financial services unit, HNA Innovation Finance Group, to buy part of Switzerland-based Glencore International’s assets.

Earlier this year, Glencore agreed to sell a 51 per cent stake in its petroleum product reserves and logistics business to HNA Innovation Finance Group for more than US$770 million.

HNA, which started out as small domestic airline Hainan Air, has spent tens of billions of US dollars on overseas acquisitions in recent years and turned itself into a global conglomerate.