×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Wanda Receives Crumb of Comfort From China’s Currency Regulator

In a spot of relief for Dalian Wanda from the storm surrounding its finances and overseas expansion, China’s currency regulator has issued a notice saying that it supports the legitimate use of domestic assets to obtain overseas loans.

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE, had issued a series of statements last November and December targeting irrational and “exuberant” expansion in sectors such as entertainment, which triggered a sharp slowdown in overseas acquisitions by several Chinese companies. Wanda’s deal to acquire Dick Clark Productions and Xinke’s deal to acquire Voltage Pictures both collapsed, apparently tripped up by the capital controls imposed by SAFE.

In recent weeks, it has emerged that property-to entertainment giant Wanda is being punished by regulators for breaching those controls. State banks have been ordered to cease lending to six of Wanda’s units, and not to accept those units’ assets as security.

The new notice from SAFE, dated Wednesday, indicated that foreign deals have not been completely banned, but it nevertheless contained a warning. “At the same time, SAFE will strengthen financial market supervision with other financial regulators and guide financial institutions to strengthen compliance management and risk management of internal and external loans,” the notice said. “It will crack down on false guarantees and malicious guarantees and other irregularities, and promote the healthy development of the domestic and foreign loans business.”

On Thursday, the highly acquisitive insurer Anbang said that it, too, had received some regulatory comfort. Ending days of rumors about forced asset sales, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission issued a notice saying that it has no plans to ask Anbang to dispose of its overseas acquisitions. Anbang, Fosun, Wanda and HNA were among the leading conglomerates singled out by regulators for having overstepped the mark.

Wanda responded to the regulatory intervention by agreeing to sell some $9 billion of theme parks and related developments to Sunac China, and a portfolio of hotels to another financial group. The deal will allow Wanda to ease its debt burden while continuing to operate the properties under its brand name and retain a 9% equity stake.

It has emerged that Wanda Studios Qingdao, the giant studio, film school and festival complex, is among the properties being sold to Sunac. Other sources report that Wanda may now be negotiating with Sunac to buy back the Qingdao businesses.

More Biz

  • Phil McIntyre Steps Down as Roc

    Phil McIntyre Steps Down From Roc Nation Management, but Remains Affiliated With Company

    Phil McIntyre has stepped down as president of Roc Nation Management, but his PhilyMack management company remains affiliated with Roc, a source close to the situation tells Variety. PhilyMack, which McIntyre founded in 2006, partnered with Roc Nation in 2015. The source stressed that McIntyre’s role at Roc Nation Management  — whose clients include Rihanna, [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein Trial

    Ben Brafman Drops Out of Harvey Weinstein Rape Case

    Harvey Weinstein has officially parted ways with defense attorney Ben Brafman, releasing a joint statement Thursday announcing the move. Weinstein had clashed with his defense attorney over strategy in his rape and sexual assault case. The pair issued a statement saying their parting was amicable, and that Brafman would cooperate fully with Weinstein’s new attorneys. [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Turns in Record Q4 Subscriber Gain, Price Increase Weighs on U.S. Forecast

    Netflix is beating Wall Street expectations for international subscriber growth — but its recently announced price increase in the U.S. may have put a damper on its momentum in the States. For the fourth quarter of 2018, Netflix reported 1.53 million paid net adds in the U.S. and 7.31 million internationally, to end the year [...]

  • Heather Parry Live Nation

    Live Nation Investigation of Heather Parry Also Targets Leakers (EXCLUSIVE)

    Over the past two weeks, the law firm of Paul Hastings LLP has been probing allegations reported by Variety last month that Heather Parry, the head of Live Nation Productions, had verbally abused employees and used offensive language in the workplace. But the lead investigator, Elena Baca, seems to be just as interested in uncovering [...]

  • Leslie Moonves

    Leslie Moonves to Pursue Arbitration for His $120 Million Severance From CBS

    Former CBS Corp. chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves will pursue an arbitration claim to fight CBS for the $120 million severance that he was denied last month when the company’s board of directors determined he was fired for cause. Moonves was ousted in September after multiple women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against the longtime [...]

  • A view of the SK Telecom

    Korean OTT Players, SK Telecom Join Forces to Compete Against Netflix

    South Korea’s three major broadcasters KBS, MBC and SBS have joined forces with the country’s leading telecom firm, SK Telecom, to launch a new video streaming platform. The move is regarded as a defensive reaction against the growing influence of foreign competitors, lead by Netflix. The broadcasters already jointly own Pooq, with MBC and SBS [...]

  • David Lubliner Moves to UTA From

    Veteran WME Agent David Lubliner to Join UTA

    William Morris Endeavor agent David Lubliner is departing the company for a post at United Talent Agency, individuals familiar with the move told Variety. The parting of ways was amicable, the insiders added. Lubliner was a veteran in WME’s motion picture literary department. Rumors of his exit had been floating since Hollywood reopened for the new [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content