China’s Dalian Wanda to invest US$1b in Sydney development

HONG KONG: Dalian Wanda Group, China’s biggest commercial real estate conglomerate, said yesterday it is investing US$1 billion (RM3.61 billion) in a prime property development close to Sydney Harbour, its second large investment in Australia.

The amount includes A$415 million (RM1.18 billion) paid to US private equity firm Blackstone Group for office building Gold Fields House, an undisclosed sum for an adjacent building, Fairfax House, as well as the cost to construct a complex that will consist of a hotel, apartments and retail projects.

The purchase adds to a string of deals as Wanda diversifies away from a weak domestic market and highlights growing Chinese investment in Australia’s red-hot property market.

Australia was the third top destination for Chinese property investment after the US and the UK in the first 11 months of 2014, with around US$2.1 billion in inbound investment, according to real estate consultancy firm Savills.

China’s Country Garden Holdings and state-backed Greenland Group have also made large investments in Australia.

Wanda is backed by China’s fourth richest man Wang Jianlin and last year, group company Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co Ltd raised US$3.7 billion through a Hong Kong listing. Shares in Dalian Wanda Commercial were up 3.5% in morning trade after the news. — Reuters

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 27, 2015.

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