China Huarong publicizes new strategic traders after dropping $ 16 billion

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: China Huarong Asset Management Co logo can be seen in its Beijing, China office on April 16, 2021. REUTERS / Thomas Peter

By Andrew Galbraith

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese state-owned asset manager China Huarong Asset Management attempted to report an annual loss of $ 16 billion on Monday as its chairman said he was working with a CITIC-led consortium in discussions with potential new strategic investors stand

Wang Zhanfeng said on a conference call that many investors continue to have confidence in Huarong and speak to potential new domestic and foreign strategic investors.

Earlier this month, the indebted company announced a government-backed bailout plan led by CITIC Group Corp after warning investors of a net loss of 102.9 billion yuan ($ 15.91 billion) in 2020.

Huarong, one of China's four state-run distressed debt managers with the Treasury as the largest shareholder, released its final 2020 results on Sunday after nearly five months of delay.

"We need to move from quick wins to long-term wins and hard earned wins," said Liang Qiang, executive director of Huarong, referring to the company's rapid expansion under former chairman Lai Xiaomin.

Lai was executed in January after one of China's most famous corruption cases.

Huarong executives stressed that the outlook is more stable for the company, which is more focused on its core business. They said the company's offshore unit, Huarong International, would remain a strategic platform and they believed it would continue to improve its asset structure and its financial indicators would continue to improve.

The company will decide whether to implement a refinancing plan for US dollar denominated debt based on its credit recovery process, operating and development needs, and regulatory approval.

A decision to buy back outstanding perpetual bonds would also be based on the operational situation of subsidiary China Huarong International Holdings Ltd as well as contracts and transactions with creditors.

The mid-price of 4% perpetual bonds from subsidiary Huarong Finance 2017 Co Ltd rose around 1 cent to 94,781 after the call, according to Duration Finance, compared to a low of less than 53 cents in May.

($ 1 = 6.4667 yuan)

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