China’s HNA real estate takes real estate out of its name
HNA Real Estate Holdings has been having a close-out sale of some of its biggest assets this year, but now the property division of China’s best-known, and most-indebted, aviation conglomerate is going a step further by taking the words real estate out of its name
In a press conference on Tuesday in its hometown of Haikou, the Hainan-based group announced that the property subsidiary of HNA Infrastructure Investment Group would now be known as HNA Airport Development, putting a name on the company that makes official its retreat from the property investment business.
The reformed entity now says that its business focus has shifted back to developing airport facilities and infrastructure construction from being a general property developer.
The new focus for HNA comes after the group sold nearly RMB 4 billion ($580 million) in real estate assets in the last month and following news last month that it had put 82 properties worth an estimated $11 billion on the market, in an effort to reduce its debt load and comply with a government drive to reduce leverage.
According to Tan Yuping, chairman of newly-christened HNA Airport Development, the name change demonstrates the transformation of the HNA affiliate from being an all-purpose developer to an industrial real estate specialist.
“The transition from traditional real estate to industrial real estate is the direction that the company has been operating in recent years,” Tan said at the press conference. “Essentially, the airport industry is our main business,” he noted, adding that change in direction fits into the larger picture of Hainan province becoming a free trade zone.
The press conference was held half of a month after Shanghai-listed HNA Infrastructure published an announcement which mentioned that its wholly-owned real estate subsidiary had submitted an application requesting the name change.