Property mogul Wang Jianlin's Wanda Group to invest US$11.7b in world-class tourism project in rust-belt city of Shenyang

By Zheng / | May 16, 2019 12:25 PM SGT
Wanda Group, the profligate Chinese conglomerate that is halfway through a massive debt-shedding exercise, has unveiled one of the largest ever investments in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang totalling 80 billion yuan (US$11.7 billion).
The property-to-entertainment conglomerate controlled by tycoon Wang Jianlin said on Wednesday that the new investment will go towards building a "world-class" cultural tourism project, an international hospital, an international school and five Wanda Plazas " the group's flagship shopping mall brand " in the capital of the rust-belt Liaoning province. The group had previously invested 25 billion yuan in the city.
Wang said the cooperation with the local government only took a month from the initial negotiation to signing the deal.
"Both parties have agreed that construction will start in the third quarter. This is the Shenyang speed," Wang said at a signing ceremony.
Wang Jianlin is the chairman of China's Dalian Wanda Group. Photo: AFP
The latest investment takes Wanda's commitment to 147 billion yuan in just over a month, including 20 billion yuan in Chaozhou, Guangdong province, and 45 billion yuan in the impoverished north-central province of Gansu.
In places such as Gansu that are typically shunned by large Chinese firms, Wang has promised to build huge cultural theme parks, hotels, shopping centres, hospitals and sports stadiums that could revitalise the local economy and boost employment.
Wanda's shift back towards the home market comes after it went through a massive slimming exercise since it was placed on a watch list by Chinese regulators in June 2017 for highly leveraged acquisitions around the world. Its balance sheet, as of March, had shrunk by more than US$25 billion from end 2016, or more than 20 per cent.
Wanda did not reply to the Post's inquiry on how it plans to fund these projects. Late last year the company made a 52 billion yuan commitment to...