Hong Kong company Shagang Shipping has successfully obtained an order for the arrest of the HNA Group controlled vessel MV Bulk Peace from the Western Australia District Registry. The move is part of a long-running legal campaign seeking USD 66.4m from HNA Group, which has failed to honour its guarantee and comply with its contractual obligations surrounding the 2008 hire of the vessel MV Dong-A Astrea.

To enforce various international court orders and arbitration awards, Shagang Shipping has already successfully arrested three ships, including the same ship in India in March 2011 as well as the cruise ship MV Henna in September; obtained a winding up order against the HNA company Grand China Shipping and on 7 March was granted a subpoena from the Southern District Court of New York requiring seven US and Chinese banks affiliated to HNA to provide details of the group’s financial transactions.

A Shagang Shipping spokesperson said:

“We are shinning a light on HNA and locating all of HNA’s assets to enforce our claims. Whether these assets are heavily financed and backed by complicated leveraged transactions or not, we are examining them all closely. It is well reported that HNA relies on complicated lines of credit in order to aggressively expand and invest in aviation, shipping and hotels. But if HNA Group truly has unlimited access to such lines of credit we do not understand why they are going to such great lengths to avoid and delay honouring their contractual obligations to their business partners.”

He added: “HNA Group has ignored court orders and walked away from negotiations. Shagang is aware that its various subsidiaries such as Grand China Logistics Holdings (Group) , Grand China Shipping (Yantai), Grand China Shipping (Hong Kong) Company Limited (now in liquidation), Ocean Container Trading (Hong Kong) and others are being sued around the world. Legal actions such as arresting ships have so far proved the only way of forcing HNA to settle its debts, but the company is simply delaying the inevitable.”