Wanda to invest in payment provider 99Bill
Jianlin Wang sees the creation of a financial group as necessary for implementing the group’s corporate transition and for creating a new pillar operation and profit center.
Dalian Wanda Group confirmed on December 24 it will invest in 99Bill in the forms of capital investment and business integration. 99Bill has yet to comment on the investment while Wanda Group said it will release further details this Friday.
Wanda Group has long held ambitions in the finance sector and began to form its own team in preparation for future financial operations earlier this year. Former China Construction Bank financial and banking investment general manager Guiya Wang was appointed senior vice president of Wanda Group in March to head the group’s financial operations.
Wanda CEO Jianlin Wang sees the creation of a financial group as necessary for implementing the group’s corporate transition and for creating a new pillar operation and profit center. Wanda Financial Group was scheduled to launch in Q3 but Mr. Wang told media in November that the plan was delayed to Q4 or next year as the group is still finalizing several acquisitions.
Observers believe that Wanda Financial Group’s business scope will likely include investment management, financing and capital management. Investment management will look outside of Wanda Group’s operational scope for investment opportunities and undertake pre- and post-investment management. The capital management function will include various departments including a capital operation management department, post-investment management department and international real estate.
As financial companies enjoy high profit margins and control over capital liquidity, having its own financial arm can help large-scale real estate developers such as Wanda resolve issues like the capital stagnation and profitability. Also, if Wanda chooses to acquire payment companies, they will be incorporated into the Wanda Financial Group as tools and platforms.
Wanda Group’s subsidiary Wanda Commercial Properties’ HK$28.8 billion IPO on December 23 was the largest on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in the past three years. Speaking to the press in Wuhan on December 20, Mr. Wang said: “The Wanda Group aims to position itself as an integrated lifestyle and cultural entertainment platform operator after the IPO, and we will reveal our fourth transition in the direction of culture, tourism, e-commerce and finance on January 17, 2015”.(Translation by David)