Business / Companies

Fosun fosters global ambitions, but has plan to reduce debt

(REUTERS in Lisbon) Updated: 2016-05-19 08:17

Fosun fosters global ambitions, but has plan to reduce debt

Guo Guangchang, chairman of Fosun Group CHINA DAILY

Fosun Group, China's largest private conglomerate, is aiming to become a world leader in insurance, tourism and healthcare but also has a "clear plan" to reduce its debts, chairman and co-founder Guo Guangchang said.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters on Tuesday, Guo said his group-which up to now has largely targeted companies in developed markets-was also turning its focus to investment opportunities in emerging markets.

Guo also said things were "back to normal" following an incident in December when he was briefly reported missing, with Fosun's president saying Guo was helping police with an investigation.

Fosun has spent about $30 billion in the past two decades outside China, mainly acquiring insurance and real estate assets in Europe and the United States, as well as making investments in the likes of tourism group Club Med and Canada's Cirque du Soleil.

Despite building up hefty debts in the process, Guo made clear his continuing interest in consumer-led sectors, saying they offered strong value.

"We see more and more opportunities globally so we are adapting our strategy," Guo, who has been ranked as China's 17th richest man, said during a visit to Portugal where Fosun bought market-leading insurer Fidelidade in 2014.

"Our target for the next five to 10 years is to become the world's leading service provider for individuals and families in terms of health, wealth and happiness," he said.

"In the sectors where we have invested we will become a very important international insurance group and a very important tourism group, and we will become a world-leading healthcare provider," he added.

Last month, Moody's credit rating agency restored its outlook on Hong Kong-listed Fosun International's Ba3 credit rating to stable from negative, reflecting its expectation that the group "will prudently manage its expansion and strengthen its financial discipline".

Guo said the company was working hard to reduce debts and obtain an investment grade rating-three notches above Ba3-"as soon as possible", adding: "We are working on that and have a very clear plan to do that."

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks