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Nation's first comprehensive logistics company unveiled

HNA Group ended two years of preparation and announced the official launch of China's first comprehensive logistics company yesterday in Shanghai, on the heels of stimulus measures aimed at boosting the logistics industry.

Grand China Logistics Group, with a registered capital of 1 billion yuan (US$146.2 million) and total assets of 5 billion yuan, will deal in shipping, road transportation and air freight, the only Chinese firm that works across all three sectors.

"We began preparing for the new company in 2007 and we aim to become a globally competitive company within nine years," said Jia Hongxiang, president of Grand China Logistics.

"The global financial crisis greatly dampened the logistics industry, but we can grab the chance to purchase lower-priced facilities and rapidly expand the size of our fleet," Jia said.

The new company is part of HNA's efforts to create a comprehensive group to deal in three key businesses - airlines, logistics and financial services.

HNA now owns 11 subsidiaries including five shipping firms, one air cargo firm and one road service firm, as well as a fleet of 39 ships.

Among HNA Group's 30 billion yuan revenue last year, its logistics business accounted for 10 percent to 15 percent, but the figure will grow to 15 percent to 20 percent this year, he said.

HNA, with total assets of 80 billion yuan, is the fourth-largest aviation group in China.

Its businesses also include airports, hotel management, retailing and financial services. It has 182 planes on more than 500 routes, manages 13 airports and more than 40 hotels, and owns five listed companies.

"After two years of preparation, it's an appropriate time for us to tap into the logistics industry," said Chen Feng, chairman of HNA.

The State Council, China's Cabinet, last month unveiled a plan to increase support for logistics companies, the last in a series of sector-specific measures designed to help the nation's 10 top industries weather the financial downturn.

Under the plan, the government encourages mergers and restructuring in the logistics industry to foster a number of globally competitive companies by 2011.


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