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Real estate funds turn to China
By Hu Yuanyuan (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-02-13 09:21

Ji Gang, director of Savills (Beijing), is quite busy these days, coping with growing inquiries from international real estate funds.

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"Compared with the fourth quarter of last year, foreign institutional investors now seem to be more specific about their investment target in China, as the macro environment becomes clearer," Ji told China Daily.

Most of the real estate funds contacting Ji are from Southeast Asia and the US. Office and retail sectors are the most popular choices with these investors.

"If everything moves on smoothly, we could help our clients reach a deal probably in the second quarter," Ji added.

In a Jan 15 statement to the Hong Kong bourse, Parkson Retail said it agreed to acquire the Suntrans Building in Beijing's Chaoyang District at a cash acquisition price of 1.128 billion yuan ($165 million). This is the largest property deal this year.

"The raised funds have to go somewhere, and China will be one of their major targets," said Ji.

CapitaLand, Southeast Asia's biggest developer, said on Monday that it will raise over $1.2 billion via a rights issue, making it well-positioned for any mergers and acquisitions opportunities that might arise.

Private equity fund manager Gaw Capital Partners is looking to raise up to $1.5 billion for Chinese property.

But some other investors still take a very cautious approach.

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