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Evergrande plans 3 billion yuan tourism investment in Chongqing

CHONGQING: Evergrande Real Estate Group (SEHK: 3333), the mainland's third-largest developer, is to beef up its Chongqing presence with a three billion yuan (HK$3.41 billion) tourism investment.

Liao Jianing, a director at Evergrande Real Estate Chongqing, said the firm had acquired a development site in Huayan, Jiulongpo district, for 900 million yuan last month.

The site, about 20 minutes by car from the heart of the city, will provide a total gross floor area of one million square metres. The area is one of the most scenic parts of the city.

"We are still in the planning stage and the design for the project has not yet been finalised," he said.

It would be the firm's sixth development in Chongqing. Its other projects are Evergrande City, Evergrande Palace, Evergrande Oasis, Evergrande Metropolis, and Evergrande Splendor.

Liao said the development would probably include a resort-style hotel and apartments. He said Evergrande was also interested in bidding for a prime commercial-residential site in Lianglukou, opposite the Hilton Chongqing. The site has a total of 500,000 square metres gross floor area, comprising 400,000 sq metres for commercial use and 100,000 square metres for residential use.

He said Chongqing alone had generated revenue of about one billion yuan in property sales for Evergrande in the first quarter. In Chongqing, the firm had set an annual sales target of five billion yuan this year, up from 4.6 billion yuan last year.

"Unlike other first-tier cities, home prices in Chongqing did not jump significantly and there is no sign of a property bubble in the city," he said.

Average prices in Chongqing were 4,000 yuan to 4,500 yuan per square metre.

"Our projects in the city mostly target end users in that price range," he said.

Besides Chongqing, Evergrande Real Estate group has projects in another 26 cities.

It was ranked as the No 1 top sales developer in terms of gross floor area in the first quarter, according to a report released by China Real Estate Information Corporation last week.

For the first three months of this year, the group has sold 1.29 million square metres of property.

But in terms of value, China Vanke, the mainland's largest developer, was the top developer, selling 14.5 billion yuan of property in the first quarter, followed by Evergrande with 8.53 billion yuan, and Greentown China Holdings (SEHK: 3900) with 7.87 billion yuan.

Evergrande, which was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in September last year, sold 30.3 billion yuan of property in 2009. — South China Morning Post
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