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China’s indebted HNA group names chairman’s son as president: Caixin


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

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s indebted HNA Group has appointed its chairman’s son as president as a part of enterprise restructuring on the finance-to-aviation conglomerate, Chinese language monetary journal Caixin reported on its web site on Saturday.

Chen Xiaofeng, son of HNA Chairman Chen Feng, has been appointed president of the group, changing Zhang Ling, in accordance with Caixin.

HNA’s official web site named Chen Xiaofeng as president, in addition to a member of the board. Chen, a graduate of the College of Washington, can be chairman and CEO of HNA’s North American unit, in accordance with the web site.

Chen Feng has been HNA’s sole chairman after Wang Jian, the group’s co-chairman, died throughout a enterprise journey in France in July, 2018.

Since final 12 months, HNA has been ramping up gross sales of its property to stave off an intensifying money crunch as Beijing curbs abroad enlargement by personal corporations. By way of asset disposals, HNA is paring again an empire that when unfold from Deutsche Financial institution (DBKGn.DE) to Hilton Worldwide (HLT.N).

Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.


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Exclusive: Repsol in advanced talks to buy Exxon assets in Gulf of Mexico – sources


(Reuters) – Spanish oil giant Repsol SA is in advanced talks to acquire some deepwater assets in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico from Exxon Mobil Corp for about $1 billion, three people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: An Exxon gas station is seen in Houston, Texas, U.S., April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo

The deal would be a boon to Exxon’s plans to accelerate asset sales, as it seeks to raise cash to return to shareholders and fund major projects. Suppressed oil prices have weighed on the appetite of oil majors to buy such assets.

There is no certainty a deal will be agreed, the sources said. The transaction would require approval from partners in the assets, who may have preferential rights to buy them, said two of the sources.

The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Representatives for Exxon and Repsol declined to comment.

Exxon began the process to jettison Gulf of Mexico assets last year with advice from JPMorgan Chase & Co, Reuters reported last October.

According to a document seen by Reuters dated Fall/Winter 2018, Exxon was marketing nine assets. These included its 50% stake in the large Julia oil field, which it operates, as well a 9.4% piece of the Heidelberg field and 23% of the Lucius oil and gas field, both of which are now operated by Occidental Petroleum Corp.

The exact number of assets that Exxon would sell to Repsol could not be learned.

The Irving, Texas-based company is trimming its portfolio to focus on promising acreage in offshore areas such as Guyana and Brazil, and onshore in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico. This includes in the Gulf of Mexico, once considered a reliable basin for oil exploration and production.

Exxon’s Chief Executive Darren Woods said earlier this year the company was targeting $15 billion through 2021 from asset sales, although securing divestments has been difficult at a time when many oil developers, especially in the United States, are eschewing purchases to focus on existing portfolios.

However, the world’s largest publicly traded energy company said last week it was in exclusive talks with Var Energi in relation to Exxon’s Norwegian upstream assets, confirming a Reuters story that the duo were close to a $4 billion deal.

Reporting by David French and Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York; Additional reporting by Jennifer Hiller and Gary McWilliams in Houston; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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China’s Anbang to offload health insurance unit as government speeds up asset sales


BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Anbang Insurance Group said it will sell its entire stake in a health insurance unit as Beijing speeds up asset disposals at the troubled government-controlled insurance conglomerate.

FILE PHOTO – A general view shows the headquarters of Anbang Insurance Group in Beijing, China, February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Anbang said it would sell 77.7% of its stake in Hexie Health Insurance through its property and casualty insurance subsidiary, and the remaining portion to five companies including Fujia Group, a private commerce company.

Fujia Group will take a 51% controlling stake after the deal, the statement said.

Anbang did not reveal the size of the deal, which requires approval from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC).

The move comes as regulators seek to speed up the process of selling Anbang’s assets to minimize financial risks. Anbang was one of the most aggressive Chinese buyers of foreign assets a few years ago, using leveraged loans and risky short-term financing tools.

More than 1 trillion yuan ($145.4 billion) worth of Anbang assets had been or were in the process of being disposed, CBIRC Vice Chairman Liang Tao told reporters on Thursday.

The regulator also would cut the portion of Anbang’s risky short-term insurance products to under 15% of its total insurance products by 2019, Liang said.

The Chinese government took control of Anbang in February last year, part of a sweeping campaign to reduce financial risk. The company’s former chairman, Wu Xiaohui, was later sentenced to 18 years in prison for fraud and embezzlement.

“For the next step, the takeover team will steadily introduce strategic investors to Anbang and push forward its restructuring,” Liang said, without elaboration.

China has formed a new company called Dajia Insurance Group to take over the assets of Anbang, according to sources familiar with the matter and a government document. The new group was led by He Xiaofeng, the head of Anbang’s takeover team.

($1 = 6.8763 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Cheng Leng and Ryan Woo; Editing by Stephen Coates


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ADM considers ethanol spinoff as first-quarter profit falls on severe weather


CHICAGO/BENGALURU (Reuters) – Archer Daniels Midland Co said on Friday it was considering spinning off its ethanol business after slim biofuel margins and Midwestern floods slammed the U.S. grains merchant’s profit, which tumbled 41 percent in the first quarter.

FILE PHOTO: The Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM) logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 3, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

ADM said it was creating an ethanol subsidiary, which will include dry mills in Columbus, Nebraska; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Peoria, Illinois.

The ethanol subsidiary will report as an independent segment, the company said, allowing options “which may include, but are not limited to, a potential spin-off of the business to existing ADM shareholders.”

Results were hit by the “bomb cyclone” blizzards that devastated the Midwest and Great Plains this year, causing massive flooding across Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, washing out rail lines and wreaking havoc in the moving and processing of corn, soybeans and wheat. One-sixth of U.S. ethanol production was halted.

In March, ADM warned Wall Street that flooding and severe winter weather in the U.S. Midwest would reduce its first-quarter operating profit by $50 million to $60 million.

“The first quarter proved more challenging than initially expected,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Juan Luciano, with earnings down in its starches, sweeteners and bioproducts unit. Luciano said impacts of the severe weather ultimately “were on the high side of our initial estimates”.

Ongoing problems in the ethanol industry added to the problems and “limited margins and opportunities” for ADM, Luciano said.

The ethanol industry has been in the midst of a historic downswing due to the U.S.-China trade war, excess domestic supply and weak margins.

ADM, which had been an ethanol pioneer, signaled to Wall Street in 2016 that it was hunting for options and considering sales of its U.S. dry ethanol mills. Luciano told Reuters this year that offers ADM had received for the mills were too low.

In addition, ADM said it planned to repurpose its corn wet mill in Marshall, Minnesota, to produce higher volumes of food and industrial-grade starches.

Other major traders are alsy trying to distance themselves from struggling ethanol businesses. Louis Dreyfus Company BV spun off its Brazilian sugar and ethanol business Biosev in 2013. Rival Bunge sold its sugar book and has sought a buyer for its Brazilian mills since 2013.

ADM, which makes money trading, processing and transporting crops, such as corn, soybeans and wheat, has been looking to strengthen its core business. Last month it said it would seek voluntary early retirements of some North American employees and cut jobs as part of a restructuring effort.

The company expects to lower 2019 capital spending by 10 percent to between $800 million and $900 million.

Net earnings attributable to the company fell to $233 million, or 41 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31, from $393 million, or 70 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $15.30 billion from $15.53 billion. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 46 cents per share, while analysts on average had estimated 60 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio


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