Business / Industries

Property firm stands out from crowd

By ZHENG YANGPENG (China Daily) Updated: 2015-07-21 08:32

Another crowdfunding project set up by and Vantone Real Estate, a major Chinese developer, allows investors to buy customized apartments. These are developed by Vantone at a discount price, which has yet to be released. "Even so, many small developers see crowdfunding as a marketing tool that will help them sell unsold properties," Sun said. "To prevent risks, we only cooperated with a few State-owned, big-name developers."

There are other concerns as well. China's Corporate Law and Securities Law have a 200-shareholder ceiling before a project is consider to be an initial public offering or IPO. That, of course, has to be approved and supervised by the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

Even with less than 200 investors, there are still legal implications.

Known as "private placement", which is the opposite of an IPO, there are regulations governing the net assets of investors and how much they can invest in a project. This goes against the whole ethos of crowdfunding, which can involve thousands of investors from all walks of life.

Zhao Yanchun, a lawyer from Allbright Law Offices, is convinced the regulations should be changed for "equity crowdfunding" to allow small investors to take part. He also believes that tougher disclosure measures for companies would reduce the risk factor.

"Online information disclosure by companies is not up to standard," Zhao said. "Company valuations are rarely backed by a trusted third-party."

Despite the challenges ahead, crowdfunding looks here to stay. "The China market alone could represent $48 billion in crowdfunding by 2020, if the country liberalizes its law to allow more equity funding," Richard Swart, a global alternative finance researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, said.

The big three

Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd

Founded: 1988

Financial background: Wanda is the largest commercial real estate company in China, with 534.1 billion yuan ($86 billion) in assets. Last year, the company reported 160 billion yuan in revenue.

Investment plans: Wanda's "Stable Earner No 1" crowdfunding project invited investors to help fund new Wanda Plazas. Minimum investment was 1,000 yuan.

China Vanke Co Ltd

Founded: 1984

Financial background: Vanke is the second-largest residential property developer in China and reported revenue of 215 billion yuan last year.

Investment plans: Vanke's securitized office park properties in Shenzhen's Qianhai special economic zone have been sold to general investors. Approved by the CSRC in June, this will be China's first real estate investment trust (REIT). It will be managed by Penghua Fund Management and listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Greenland Holding Group Co Ltd

Founded: 1992

Financial background: A sprawling Chinese conglomerate, its real estate arm became the country's largest property developer in 2014 after reporting revenue of 241 billion yuan.

Investment plans: Greenland launched a peer-to-peer property financing product "Di Chan Bao" in April. The company raised 450 million yuan for a shantytown renovation project. Greenland aims to raise between 5 billion and 8 billion yuan this year.

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