January 25, 2018 / 12:08 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-HNA unit says bank accounts were temporarily frozen, issue now resolved

(Adds Tianjin Tianhai profit forecast in final paragraph)

SHANGHAI, Jan 25 (Reuters) - A HNA Group unit said on Thursday that some of its accounts with a local bank had been temporarily suspended this month - the latest in a series of financial woes at the Chinese conglomerate amid rising scrutiny of its heavy debt burden.

Tianjin Tianhai Investment Co Ltd said in a filing to the Shanghai bourse that accounts at Ningbo Commerce Bank were frozen on Jan. 12, but had been unfrozen by Jan. 15 following what it called friendly discussions with the bank.

Its shares have been suspended since Jan. 12 when the firm disclosed it was working on major plan. It did not discose details of the plan or that some of its bank accounts had been frozen.

Tianjin Tianhai, parent of U.S. technology hardware and services distributor Ingram Micro Inc, said the accounts had been frozen due to a disagreement between controlling shareholder HNA Technology and the Ningbo lender over the due date of a loan. Tianjin Tianhai said it had guaranteed the loan.

Reuters could not immediately reach Ningbo Commerce Bank for comment on Thursday.

Nearly half of Chinese conglomerate HNA’s listed units have suspended trade in their shares, ahead of an anticipated restructuring among group companies. HNA faces rising financing costs after a $50 billion acquisition spree over the past two years.

On Wednesday, HNA said it has passed compliance checks by several global banks, a rare bit of good news for the cash-strapped conglomerate.

Tianjin Tianhai, which bought Ingram Micro last year for about $6 billion, this month denied it was selling the subsidiary after media reports about a planned disposal.

The firm said it would look to strengthen its communication with its lenders in future to avoid similar situations happening again.

With its acquisition completed, Tianjin Tianhai expects its net profit in 2017 to increase by 123-172 percent from 321.51 million yuan ($51 million) from a year earlier due to the inclusion of Ingram Micro’s business, it said late on Thursday.

$1 = 6.3196 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Additional reporting by Engen Tham and Matthew Miller; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Adrian Croft

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