China's Dalian Wanda Group to borrow $800 million club loan: LPC

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd is borrowing a club loan of up to $800 million, its first offshore loan in almost two years, Reuters Loan Pricing Corp reported on Wednesday citing sources.

The company was on financial strains after China’s regulators last year told banks to stop providing funding for several of Wanda’s overseas acquisitions, part of a crackdown on what Beijing sees as irrational spending by some domestic conglomerates.

The three-year loan will be used for Wanda’s refinancing and working capital, sources told LPC. Wanda has obtained the approval for the latest offshore borrowing from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The borrowing will provide a test of appetite among lenders for the credit following the regulatory scrutiny from Chinese authorities on Wanda and other acquisitive groups including Anbang Insurance Group Co Ltd, Fosun Group and HNA Group Co Ltd since mid-2016, LPC said.

Fitch Ratings downgraded Dalian Wanda Commercial Property Co Ltd early this year by two notches to a junk rating, citing the company’s inability to access offshore funding channels to boost its liquidity in a timely manner.

Rating agencies S&P and Moody’s also downgraded Wanda Commercial to below investment grade last year.

Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier