Dalian Wanda weighing exit sales in Gold Coast and Sydney after funding crunch

Dalian Wanda weighing exit sales in Gold Coast and Sydney after funding crunch
Dalian Wanda weighing exit sales in Gold Coast and Sydney after funding crunch

China's Dalian Wanda Group, facing a lending freeze by China’s major banks, is in discussions for the sale of two projects worth nearly $2 billion on the Gold Coast and in Sydney.

Talks are on in Hong Kong for the sale of its Circular Quay apartment and hotel tower in Sydney and the Jewel resort on the Gold Coast, The Australian Financial Review reported citing sources. 

The development comes within days of Wanda saying that its $1 billion Gold Coast project was on track despite Beijing asking the country’s major banks to stop lending to the developer. 

Wanda’s Sydney CBD project includes a $1 billion dual-tower development in the heart of Circular Quay by 2020.

The One Circular Quay development is close to launching its 190 luxury apartments and a 181-suite five-star hotel is under way.

Wanda is likely to sell the projects to a Hong Kong-based buyer.

A spokesperson for the company said "the operation of Wanda's two projects in Australia is continuing smoothly".

Wanda, owned by billionaire Wang Jianlin, has faced the heat from Chinese authorities in recent weeks over concerns that it, and other private companies, overpaid for foreign assets and these now pose a systemic risk to the Chinese banking system.

Other companies on the radar of  authorities include the HNA Group, which holds a 13 per cent stake in airline Virgin Australia, Fosun Group, which is developing apartments in Brisbane and Sydney and Anbang Insurance, which bought New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel in 2014.

Beijing is worried about offshore deals going bad and capital outflows putting downward pressure on its currency.

China's outbound investment nearly halved in the first half of this year to US$64.2 billion and its Vice Minister for Commerce Qian Keming said last week that "irrational" offshore investment had been contained, the AFR reported.

In 2016, Chinese investors announced outbound deals worth a record US$219 billion, according to data from Dealogic.

Wanda is also selling assets at home.

Last month it sold a group of theme parks and hotels in China for $US9.3 billion, despite Wang previously saying he would use this portfolio to outdo Disney.

"The frenzy of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and the era of blindly following them have passed," Wang told China's CCTV last year.

Subsidiary Wanda Film Holding, operator of China’s largest cinema chain, has also announced a planned restructure.

Wanda sold a parcel of land on the Gold Coast last November to another Chinese entertainment group Songcheng for $55 million.

The agent who did that deal, Knight Frank's Roland Evans, is in Hong Kong this week but declined to comment on any discussions taking place.

Gold Coast Dalian Wanda

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