MARKETS

China's biggest developer Greenland Group to make back-door listing

Greenland Group to become China's No. 1 market cap developer in listing

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 April, 2015, 10:05am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 April, 2015, 12:00am

Shanghai Jinfeng Investment shares opened up by the daily limit of 10 per cent in Shanghai on Friday and remained there for the rest of the day after regulatory approval for it be a back-door listing vehicle for China's biggest developer, Greenland Group.

State-owned Greenland will inject assets worth 65.5 billion yuan into Jinfeng in exchange for 11.3 billion new shares of the Shanghai-listed firm at 5.58 yuan per share. That will make it the biggest Chinese developer listed anywhere in terms of market capitalisation, overtaking Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties, which listed in Hong Kong last year.

The regulatory approval "marks a key step in the public listing of Greenland Group as a whole", said analysts Zhu Yiming and Fu Yichen at property consultancy China Real Estate Information in Shanghai.

They said in a report the deal could take another month or two to close and for the listed company to be renamed.

Global ratings agency Standard & Poor's viewed the listing as credit neutral to Greenland, saying it expected the developer's leverage to remain high over the next one to two years and the transaction would not bring in any new cash.

"Nevertheless, the listing should improve the company's capital structure and diversify its funding channels," S&P said.

Jinfeng shares, suspended since April 16, resumed trading on Friday and surged to 26.64 yuan, up from the previous close of 24.22 yuan. Marking the new shares to its current price, total capitalisation will hit 315 billion yuan, far exceeding rivals such as Dalian Wanda and China Vanke.

So far this year, the company's shares have soared 106 per cent, far outperforming the corresponding 36 per cent rise in the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission approved the asset swap on Thursday, but ordered that Greenland's future profit plan and a report by an independent financial adviser be submitted within 10 working days.

Greenland overtook Vanke last year to become the country's biggest developer in sales revenue due to aggressive expansion both domestically and abroad despite an industry correction. Its contracted sales rose 50 per cent to 240.8 billion yuan last year.

The target for this year is 280 billion yuan, including an almost doubling in overseas property sales to 30 billion yuan. The company has moved into cities such as London, Los Angeles, Sydney and Toronto.

Apart from property, Greenland would also speed up investment in infrastructure, the financial sector and consumer industry, chairman Zhang Yuliang said on Friday.

Thursday's regulatory approval also pushed the price of Greenland Hong Kong Holdings, its sole overseas platform, up by 8 per cent to HK$7.17 on Friday.

Edison Bian, the head of property research at UOB Kay Hian, warned investors "short-term corrections might be around" after the stock's strong rally in recent months, although he said he was confident about longer-term recovery in its valuation.

Greenland will test internet finance through the Hong Kong-listed arm this year, hoping to offer financial services to cash-strapped Chinese developers.

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