New World, Chow Tai Fook win joint 4.2b yuan land bid in Qianhai FTZ
Consortium plans to develop the site into 170,000 square metre financial and commercial complex
New World Development and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises have jointly bought a commercial site in Shenzhen’s Qianhai free trade area for 4.2 billion yuan, on which they plan to build a financial and commercial complex suitable for sale to a non-Chinese Fortune 500 company as its regional headquarters.
The developer is already talking with potential buyers.
The joint venture was able to acquire the land at a zero premium on Thursday under the Qianhai government’s policy of restricting bidding to a few Hong Kong-based firms, which should own at least three Hong Kong main board-listed companies.
Despite a few Hong Kong conglomerates being eligible, the NWD-Chow Tai Fook consortium was the only bidder. They plan to develop the site into 170,000 square metres of gross floor space, with ownership split 30/70 in favour of Chow Tai Fook.
Qianhai Free Trade Zone was approved as an national project at the end of 2014, to promote economic cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, and promote the liberalisation of the renminbi’s capital account.
The stringent requirements on qualifying bidders is part of the Shenzhen government’s plan to woo top-notched firms to settle in the region, which it is hoped will become the city’s next growth engine.
Thursday’s sale followed last week’s sale of two plots to subsidiaries of central State-owned giant COFCO Corporation. COFCO also secured the plots with zero premium under Qianhai’s rigorous vetting program.