(Yicai Global) Jan. 3 -- Listed companies are resorting to extraordinary means to beautify their annual reports for the looming year's end, but Hunan TV & Broadcast Intermediary's bid to part with a famous painting for CNY200 million (USD29 million) to turn losses into profits is still extraordinary. The firm will sell an oil painting it owns, The Fool who Moved the Mountains, to its affiliate and former controller Hunan Broadcasting System.
The painting's creator, famed artist Xu Hongbing, must be turning in his grave. "This deal is based on our business needs. We can recoup the cost of the artwork and reap investment profit via the sale," Hunan TV & Broadcast said in a Dec. 15 statement. Sale proceeds will be just enough for the firm to declare a profit and emerge from the red. Its share price [SHE:000917] rose 2.4 percent yesterday on the news, closing up almost 1 percent.
Hunan TV & Broadcast bought the painting at auction for CNY28 million in 2007. The company lost CNY464 million last year and CNY135 million in the first three quarters, its financial data show. It now faces compulsory delisting if it is unable to stem its fourth-quarter losses. Life imitates art, in the words of Oscar Wilde.