China Giant Plans London Investments

China Giant Plans London Investments

Commercial News » Europe Commercial News Edition | By Francys Vallecillo | October 29, 2013 11:22 AM ET

The Chinese property developer Greenland Holdings is planning to venture into London property after several investments in U.S. real estate. 

The company is interested in London projects that include hotels, apartments and retail space, chairman Zhang Yuliang told Bloomberg. The chairman said the state-owned developer is looking at three developments, but declined to elaborate on details.

"We are very interested in London," Mr. Zhang said. "Greenland has investments in almost all the Chinese cities, so going globally is a must for all big companies like us."

Several Chinese companies have been targeting London. Earlier this year Dalian Wanda Group took a stake in a £700 million hotel and residential project. And in July insurer Ping An purchased the Grade-1 listed Lloyd's of London tower from Commerz Real AG for £260 million ($385 million).

Greenland has been aggressively pursuing international deals. The company made its first investment in the U.S. in July by purchasing a $1 billion stake in a downtown Los Angeles project, which will include hotels, offices and luxury residences. 

The developer expanded its U.S. portfolio earlier this month by agreeing to purchase a 70 percent stake in the Atlantic Yards Apartment Project in Brooklyn, making it the largest commercial property development with Chinese financing, the company said. 

"The U.S. government welcomes our investment there, while the Chinese government is also supporting Chinese companies to go abroad," Mr. Zhang told Bloomberg. "Greenland is investing in places with good economic conditions."

Greenland joins several Chinese developers entering overseas real estate markets seeking diversification opportunities. 

"The trend for Chinese companies going abroad has just started," Mr. Zhang said. "Every Chinese company goes out for its own reason, but the common ground is seeking globalization."

Greenland will enter London during a time when prime home prices are outpacing the U.K. and don't show signs of slowing down. 

The developer remains positive for the home market. The company expects record property sales in China of more than 160 billion yuan ($26 billion) this year, higher than its target of 150 billion yuan, amid the country's three-year campaign to cool the property market and lower home prices, Bloomberg reports. 

"We are still optimistic on China's property market at least for the next five to 10 years," Mr. Zhang said. "It's basically impossible for the government to have another round of nationwide property curbs. Only a few Chinese cities need curbs. In the long run, we think China's property market is still good."

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