China Taiping Insurance has agreed to acquire a Beijing retirement home project from developer Century Golden Resources for RMB 2.09 billion ($290 million), chalking up a rare big-ticket deal in the mainland’s senior living sector.
The project in Shunyi district’s Liqiao Town has a gross floor area of 176,602 square metres (1.9 million square feet), including 123,693 square metres above ground and 52,909 square metres underground, China Taiping said in a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange.
The 2,220-bed project comprises 1,387 elderly care apartments, including 561 under the “basically completed” first phase and 826 under the yet-to-start second phase, according to the state-backed insurer chaired by Wang Sidong.
“The investment in the target project is of great significance to the group’s strategic planning, industry positioning and overall synergy,” China Taiping said. “By improving people’s health and enhancing the provision of old-age security, the target project reflects our commitment to corporate social responsibility as a state-owned financial institution.”
The book value of the project company was RMB 2.52 billion as of July, but auditors assessed a loss in valuation of more than RMB 457 million for the two years ended 31 December 2022, according to the HKEX filing.
China Taiping has 36 elder care communities across 29 cities in 23 provinces. The development northeast of Beijing’s urban core will feature a medical centre spanning 4,000 square metres, along with restaurants and entertainment and commercial facilities.
In an interim report filed in August, China Taiping said it would monitor important changes in the capital market and evaluate potential opportunities, taking advantage of long-term investment of insurance funds to inject financial vitality into the real economy.
The insurer posted a 20.5 percent year-on-year rise in attributable profit to HK$5.2 billion ($670 million) for the first six months of 2023, with revenue dipping 3.6 percent to HK$54.1 billion.
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Led by Fujianese billionaire Huang Rulun, Century Golden Resources is a conglomerate doing business in real estate, retailing, tourism and healthcare.
Huang was listed No.8 among China’s wealthiest property tycoons as recently as 2015, when Forbes estimated his net worth at $4 billion.
Today the 72-year-old’s holdings are valued at a more modest $1.5 billion, according to Forbes, which dropped Huang from its global billionaires list last year.