January 24, 2018 / 12:25 AM / in a year

Wanda Hotel plans sale of Australia property projects; trade halted

HONG KONG, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Wanda Hotel Development Co Ltd said late on Tuesday a unit has entered into an agreement to sell the rights and interests in certain property projects in Australia to an independent third party.

The company’s shares, which were put on a trading halt on Friday, would remain suspended pending announcement of the disposal, the Hong Kong-listed firm said. It gave no further details.

Sources last week said Wanda Hotel’s parent company Dalian Wanda Group was expected to announce the sale of two Australian property projects, which The Australian newspaper said were worth about A$1 billion ($800 million).

The sales are expected to lessen financial strains on Dalian Wanda following a major acquisition spree by helping it meet upcoming debt deadlines.

China’s regulators last year told banks to stop providing funding for several of Wanda’s overseas acquisitions, sources have said, part of a crackdown on what Beijing sees as irrational spending by some domestic conglomerates.

Since then, Wanda, whose businesses range from real estate to football and cinemas, has embarked on a string of asset sales. (Reporting by Donny Kwok; editing by Richard Pullin)

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