UDC Finance's Chinese-Sale Built On 'A House of Renminbi'

New Zealand First says the parlous state of proposed UDC Finance purchaser, China’s HNA Group, means the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) should reject its application forthwith.

“If the OIO has a shred of common sense then they’d decline HNA Group’s application,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland, Rt. Hon. Winston Peters.

“HNA Group is less a ‘House of Cards’ and more a ‘House of Renminbi.’

“Look at HNA’s incredible debt mountain of $100bn. (US$73bn).  If its own bankers have said enough is enough then that should set off klaxons at our OIO.  UDC Finance is far too important to be risked on a dodgy foreign purchaser who could tip over at any moment.

“HNA owes so much money that its interest payments exceed revenue.  It is perhaps a weathervane for a Chinese economy, which is seriously riding for a fall. 

“Even HNA’s ownership makes a Byzantine Maze look like child’s play.  It may be a case of rearranging the deckchairs on this corporate Titanic, but we now know it is majority owned by two charities, one on the Island on Hainan and the other, bizarrely enough, in New York.

“To say that is unique is an understatement but this has the appearance of legal chicanery.

“And who was listed as HNA’s single largest shareholder with 29% of the company, the mysterious Guan Jun, has now been revealed as a front for HNA’s Executives.

“This company is convoluted, enigmatic and so indebted, that the OIO must pull the plug,” says Mr Peters.