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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Riddle of the HNA, more than airline business


15:25, December 12, 2011

Over the last two decades, Hainan Airlines (HNA) has grown into an industry giant, its assets expanding from the petty start-up capital of ten million yuan to a business worth over 100 billion yuan.

HNA is China's first civil aviation company to be listed both on China's A and B stock exchange. It is also listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Hainan Airline Group (HNA Group) is the dominant shareholder of HNA, with over five hundred companies under its umbrella that cover aviation, logistics, finance, tourism, and more.

HNA Group is distinct from other major Chinese airlines by virtue of its plying multiple areas of business. As a comprehensive group, it frequently makes large-scale and aggressive acquisitions to promote its development. Recently, it failed in two acquisition attempts, a sign that the capital market has its reservations.

At present, HNA is partnering with local governments on land loans, part of an ambitious plan code named Super X, to realize total assets in the trillions of yuan.

"No one in China has really been able to read our mind", HNA Group chairman Chen Feng has said on many occasions. True. The HNA Group's strategy grows ever more complicated, a mystery reporters from the Southern Daily set out to unmask.

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