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Chinese property companies speed up in global markets

(China Daily)

08:11, October 20, 2012

Building construction (Photo/China Daily)

Though international investors remain unsure about moving ahead in the Chinese realty market, their Chinese peers are getting ready to take big steps in the global arena.

Vantone Holdings Co Ltd provided the impetus for Chinese realty moves in 2009 by becoming the first corporate tenant of the new World Trade Center in New York. By current estimates, there are some 10 major Chinese property developers who have made international investments.

Prominent among them are property enterprises such as Vantone and Vanke and State-run construction corporations like China State Construction and China Railway Group Ltd. Today the footprint of their investments covers nations as diverse as Australia, the Republic of Korea, Iceland, the United States, Russia, Nigeria, Chile and the Bahamas.

Not surprisingly, most of the moves have been in tandem with the global expansion plans of Chinese companies.

"Where our clients go is where our realty and services will be. Though we are in the US, we continue to be active in China," Feng Lun, chairman of real estate company Vantone, said in a recent interview.

China Center New York, Vantone's symbolic realty project in the US, will encompass the 64th to 69th floors of the One World Trade Center by 2014. It will also serve as a resource for Chinese companies entering the US, as well as for American businesses seeking opportunities in China.

Set up in 1992, the Shanghai-based Greenland Group is one of the biggest State-owned enterprises in the city as well as a leading comprehensive real estate enterprise in China. The 20-year-old property corporation is looking to test the international markets and recently inked an agreement with Jeju Free International City Development Center in the ROK. Under the agreement the Chinese company will invest about 1 trillion won ($901.8 million; 688.8 million euros) in the Jeju Healthcare Town project.

"Our international strategy is to globalize our market with global resources and domestic clients," says Zhang Yuliang, chairman of Greenland Group, adding that Greenland's overseas hotels and tourism properties mainly target Chinese tourists and students in the ROK.

"Extending our market to an international level makes our company much more competitive," he says.

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