Chinas Dalian Wanda Group Says 2017 Revenue Down 108 Percent | The News Amed
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Chinas Dalian Wanda Group Says 2017 Revenue Down 108 Percent

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HONG KONG – Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group said on Saturday its revenue dropped for a second consecutive year, by 10.8 percent in 2017, as the group sold off property assets and faced increasing scrutiny from regulators and lenders.

The property-to-entertainment group, owned by tycoon Wang Jianlin, reported 227.4 billion yuan ($35.54 billion) in revenue, while net profit remained flat compared with 2016, according to a statement posted on the company’s website. It did not reveal the profit figure.

Total assets, of which 93 percent are domestic, declined 11.5 percent to 700 billion yuan.

The group came under pressure last year from a government crackdown on perceived risky spending overseas and high levels of corporate debt. Banks heightened their scrutiny and ratings agencies downgraded its property unit to junk status.

The Chinese conglomerate is expected to announce the sale of two Australian property projects in the coming days, sources have told Reuters, the latest in a string of asset sales as the firm looks to reduce its portfolio after a major acquisition spree.

Wanda said earlier this week it had agreed to sell its interests in the London luxury development project, One Nine Elms, for $81 million.

Wanda’s commercial real estate arm, which sold a portfolio of hotels and 13 tourism assets in China for $9 billion in July, saw income fall 21 percent last year to 112.5 billion yuan.

Revenue at its sports division increased by 12.3 percent to 7.2 billion yuan, while that of the cultural division rose 32.6 percent to 63.8 billion yuan.

Wanda is considering a listing for its sports assets as part of efforts to rationalize its portfolio, according to people familiar with the situation.

($1 = 6.3990 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Clare Jim and Julie Zhu;

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Rarest White Diamond Ever To Be Sold In London

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LONDON – A flawless diamond, the size of a large strawberry, is expected to fetch a world record price when it comes to market at Sotheby’s in London this month.

Weighing just over 102 carats, the round, brilliant white stone is smaller than a 118-carat oval diamond sold in Hong Kong in 2013, which currently holds the record price per carat.

But Sotheby‘s, which also handled that Hong Kong sale, expects the smaller stone’s rarity and high quality will see it attract an even higher price.

Slideshow (5 Images)

“That (stone sold in Hong Kong) fetched $260,000 a carat, currently the world record for any colorless diamond. This one being a round brilliant cut – the asking price will be north of that,” Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Diamonds told Reuters.

The diamond is the only stone over 100 carats to have been given the highest grades in every criteria by the Gemological Institute of America, which judges a precious stone’s quality, Sotheby’s said.

It has not disclosed the asking price for the stone, which will be sold in a private sale.

(This story corrects weight of other diamond to 118, not 163, carats in second paragraph and specifies throughout this is private sale, not auction.)

Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London;

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Rarest White Diamond Ever To Be Auctioned In London

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LONDON – A flawless diamond, the size of a large strawberry, is expected to fetch a world record price when it goes on sale at Sotheby’s in London this month.

Weighing just over 102 carats, the round, brilliant white stone is smaller than a 163-carat oval diamond sold in Hong Kong in 2013, which currently holds the record price per carat.

But Sotheby‘s, which also handled that Hong Kong sale, expects the smaller stone’s rarity and high quality will see it attract an even higher price.

Slideshow (5 Images)

“That (stone sold in Hong Kong) fetched $260,000 a carat, currently the world record for any colorless diamond. This one being a round brilliant cut – the asking price will be north of that,” Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Diamonds told Reuters.

The diamond is the only stone over 100 carats to have been given the highest grades in every criteria by the Gemological Institute of America, which judges a precious stone’s quality, Sotheby’s said.

It has not disclosed the asking price for the stone, which will be sold in a private sale.

Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London;

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Israeli Archaeologists Unearth 1800-year-old Mosaic

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CAESAREA, Israel – A 1,800-year-old mosaic of toga-clad men dating back to the Roman era has been unearthed in Israel, archaeologists said on Thursday.

The mosaic was discovered during the excavation of a building from the Byzantine period – some 300 years younger than the mosaic it was on top of – in the coastal city of Caesarea.

“The surprise was actually that we found two beautiful monuments from the glorious days of Caesarea,” Peter Gendelman, co-director of excavation for the Israel Antiquities Authority, told Reuters of the building and mosaic.

Caesarea was a vibrant Roman metropolis built in honor of Emperor Augustus Caesar by King Herod, who ruled Judea from 37 BC until his death in 4 BC.

Slideshow (5 Images)

The excavated portion of the mosaic, which the antiquities authority said was 3.5 meters by 8 meters in size, depicts three toga-clad men, as well as geometric patterns and an inscription in Greek, which is damaged.

If the mosaic came from a mansion, the figures could have been the owners, or if it was a public building, they may have been the mosaic’s donors or members of the city council, Gendelman said.

The mosaic was of a high artistic standard, with about 12,000 stones per square meter, the antiquities authority said.

Israel is undertaking the largest conservation and reconstruction project in the country in the Caesarea National Park, the antiquities team said. The project aims to reconstruct a Crusaders-era bridge.

Reporting by Rami Amichai; Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London;

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