The Lastest: Hotelier H World Group Ltd. (HTHT.US; 1179.HK) announced last Friday it promoted He Jihong from CEO of its international business to its new CFO. 

Looking Up: He joined the company in October 2021 after serving three years as chief corporate strategy officer at Singapore’s CapitaLand. Prior to that, she worked at Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek for five years. 

Taking Note: It was unclear whether He will maintain her role leading H Group’s international operation in addition to being CFO. Her loss in the international role could deal a setback to the company’s recent global expansion. 

Digging Deeper: Formerly known as Huazhu Group, H World operated 8,402 hotels with 797,489 rooms at the end of September, with over 95% of its hotels in China. Its top brand is the budget Hanting chain, but it also operates higher-end brands, some in conjunction with French strategic partner Accor (AC.PA). The company’s third-quarter revenue rose 16% year-on-year, as its average revenue per room, or revpar, reached up to 90% of pre-Covid levels from 2019, thanks to pent-up leisure and business travel demand. Executives forecast revenue would grow by 7% to 11% in the fourth quarter. 

Market Reaction: H World’s New York-listed shares rose 5.9% on Friday after the announcement came out. Its Hong Kong-listed shares rose by an even stronger 8.8% in the first half of the Monday trading day, closing at HK$32.40 by the mid-day break.

Reporting by Chan Ka Po

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