HNA unit to sell two Hong Kong sites to Henderson Land for $2 billion

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A unit of China's HNA Group [HNAIR.UL], the cash-starved aviation-to-financial services conglomerate, said on Tuesday it was selling two Hong Kong sites to Henderson Land Development Co Ltd 0012.HK for HK$16 billion ($2 billion).

A HNA Group logo is seen on the building of HNA Plaza in Beijing, China February 9, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Completion of the deal for the land at Kai Tak, near the territory's former airport, was expected to be completed on Feb. 14, Hong Kong International Construction Investment Management Group Co Ltd (HKICIM) 0687.HK said in a statement to the stock exchange.

The sale would be conducted by two Cayman Island funds holding the rights to the sites, HKICIM said, in what is the latest in a series of measures taken by the Chinese conglomerate to address a liquidity crunch.

It gave no further details.

HNA Holding Group, through its subsidiaries, had won tenders for the land in Kai Tak for about HK$14.2 billion in late 2016, a figure above market price. The sites were zoned for residential development.

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The Asian financial hub has one of the most expensive housing markets in the world, with private home prices shattering historic records for 13 months in a row and rising almost 200 percent since 2008.

The sale comes as HNA faces financing strains following a $50 billion acquisition spree over the past two years, which has sparked scrutiny of its opaque ownership and use of leverage.

HNA has over the past few months focused on scaling back its offshore real estate investments, which Beijing has targeted with capital controls.

Group CEO Adam Tan has said the company would not invest in areas that were not backed by the central government.

Late last month, HNA said it had reached a deal to sell a building in Sydney for A$205 million ($166 million).

Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Stephen Coates