Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing continued to retreat from the mainland property market by selling a Nanjing commercial building recently for RMB 3 billion.
China’s Xinhua news agency reported on January 1st that mainland conglomerate SanPower Group indicated it had acquired the Nanjing International Finance Center (IFC) from ARA Asset Management Ltd, a subsidiary of Li’s Cheung Kong Holdings (HK:0001).
Sources close to the deal said that SanPower paid nearly RMB 3 billion (US$495 million) for the landmark building in Jiangsu’s capital city.
ARA originally purchased the then newly completed Nanjing IFC in 2008 from China Merchants Property Development for RMB 1.6 billion. The 51-storey office building also includes a retail podium and has a leasable gross floor area of 109,196 square metres. The IFC is located in Nanjing’s Xinjiekou central business district.
Li Ka-shing Continues China Real Estate Sell Off
The Nanjing transaction marked the fourth time that Hong Kong real estate tycoon sold off mainland real estate assets since August. In total Li’s asset disposals are said to have brought in RMB 12.6 billion for his companies.
In October last year China’s Bank of Communications agreed to purchase the Oriental Financial Center in Shanghai’s Pudong district from Li’s Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong Holdings for a total consideration of US$1.15 billion.
During September, Hutchison and Cheung Kong announced that they were selling the Metropolitan Plaza in Guangzhou’s Liwan district for US$390.7 million. The Guangzhou deal was preceded at the end of July with the sale of Cheung Kong’s Kingswood Ginza shopping mall in Hong Kong for US$754 million to a REIT controlled by the company.
During November Li issued some notably bearish statements regarding China’s real estate market. In a statement from Cheung Kong, Li said, “Land prices in Hong Kong are high, and already showing signs of an unhealthy situation.”