HNA Group will try to sell as much as CNY100 billion (USD15.8 billion) worth of assets during the current half of the year in order to improve liquidity, the conglomerate told creditors at the end of January.

Bloomberg reports HNA will seek to shed CNY20 billion worth of assets in the first quarter of the year, followed by a further CNY80 billion in the second quarter. It faces a cash shortfall of around CNY15 billion in the first quarter alone.

HNA Group has already sold a building in Sydney, Australia, for AUD88 million (USD68.8 million) and is looking to divest itself of its 29.5% stake in Spain's NH Hotel Group, valued at EUR632 million (USD775.6 million), according to Reuters. The group is also evaluating a listing of Swissport, its wholly-owned ground handling unit, which could raise some CHF2.7 billion (USD2.86 billion). It also looking at selling additional buildings.

It is unclear whether the group is looking to divest from any of the numerous airlines there are in its portfolio, including the flagship Hainan Airlines (HU, Haikou). Last year, it transferred its 34.16% stake in Hong Kong Airlines (HX, Hong Kong Int'l) and its 23.75% stake in the carrier's parent company HKA Group Holdings to Frontier Investment Partner, an independent third party.

Since the beginning of the year, a total of seven HNA Group's units, including Hainan Airlines Holdings, HNA Investment Group Co Ltd., HNA Infrastructure Investment Group Co Ltd., HNA-Caissa Travel Group Co. Ltd., Bohai Capital Holding Co Ltd, Tianjin Tianhai Investment Co Ltd, and CCOOP Group Co Ltd, suspended trading before a pending "major restructuring of assets".

The conglomerate's liquidity issues are caused by a shopping spree which saw it acquire dozens of companies around the world, including Avolon, Gategroup, Servair, SR Technics and CIT Aerospace along with multiple other travel, property, logistics and financial firms. It either owns or holds stakes in Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras, TAP Air Portugal, Virgin Australia, Comair (South Africa), Frankfurt Hahn and Rio de Janeiro Int'l airports, Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Swiss travel retailer Dufry, and Deutsche Bank, as well as many Chinese carriers, among others.

HNA Group's spending on acquisitions in the last three years alone is estimated to have reached nearly USD50 billion. In November 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported the conglomerate had amassed a total of USD100 billion in debt.

HNA Group's ownership structure is notoriously complicated and vague. Bloomberg recently reported that, in total, there may be as many as 518 companies related through ownership to the conglomerate.