GIC, CIFI set up $1b joint venture to invest in China’s residential property market

Shanghai, China. Source: Robynne Hu/Unsplash

Chinese property development and investment firm CIFI Holdings has entered into an agreement with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC to launch a 7-billion-yuan ($1.025 billion) investment platform for residential projects in eastern China’s Yangtze River Delta.

Hong Kong-listed CIFI will hold 51 per cent and GIC will hold a 49 per cent stake in the investment platform, the former announced in a statement on September 11.

In January this year, CIFI’s housing rental service arm Umihome had joined hands with GIC to launch an investment platform with $570 million for long-term rental apartments in China. The platform intends to invest in projects at premium locations in the country’s first- and second-tier cities in the next four years.

Umihome is responsible for the renovation, development, and operation of the portfolio. The CIFI affiliate had 69,000 apartments under its operation across 20 cities in China as of January 2020.

Dual-headquartered in Shanghai and Hong Kong, CIFI develops various real estate projects including residential, office and commercial property with a strong presence in major first-, second-, and third-tier cities in China.

The firm booked 23.02 billion yuan ($3.37 billion) in recognised revenue in the first half of 2020, up 11.3 per cent year-on-year. Its core net profit grew 11.2 per cent to reach 3.19 billion yuan ($467 million) compared to the same period in 2019, according to its unaudited interim results in H1 2020.

Lucrative market

CIFI and GIC are looking to cash in on China’s lucrative property market, which has been a major driver of the country’s domestic recovery. Home sales and real estate investments have grown at a robust pace after the lifting of coronavirus lockdowns.

According to industry researcher Qianzhan.com, the market size of property investment and development in China reached 13.22 trillion yuan ($1.93 trillion) in 2019, up 9.9 per cent from the previous year. In the first half of 2020, the number stood at 6.28 trillion yuan ($919 billion), up 1.9 per cent year-on-year despite the virus-induced slowdown.

The share of residential property investments in China grew faster than office buildings and commercial properties between 2015 and 2019. Residential property investments accounted for 73 per cent of overall real estate investments in the country at end-2019, according to Qianzhan.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.