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Gemdale's land bank expands

GEMDALE Corp, one of China's largest developers by market value, acquired a 210,288-square-meter plot of land in west Shanghai's Qingpu District for 3.05 billion yuan (US$446 million) yesterday in its latest move to further extend its local portfolio.

The price translated into a per gross floor area price of nearly 14,500 yuan per square meter. The Shenzhen-based company beat rivals, including China Vanke, Poly Real Estate, Longfor Group and Sun Hung Kai Properties.

"Shanghai has proved to be a quite successful market for Gemdale so far," said Xue Jianxiong, an analyst with E-House (China) Holdings Ltd. "Acquisition of the land plot will help further strengthen its presence and brand image in Shanghai."

The Zhaoxiang plot, the city's largest plot offered for residential development so far this year, has attracted huge attention from developers ever since its launch last month due to its size, location and comparatively low starting price of 946 million yuan.

Prior to the auction, which was held yesterday, many industry analysts predicted that the land should have been sold for about 10,000 yuan per square meter, which would be close to an earlier record set by Longfor Group.

In November 2007, when the market was extremely overheated, Longfor beat more than 10 rivals and acquired a land plot in the same area for 10,672 yuan per square meter, more than tripling the plot's starting price.

Gemdale also obtained a land plot just a few months ago in Shanghai, underlining its optimism for the housing market in the city as well as the whole Yangtze River Delta region. In April, the company paid about 5,500 yuan per square meter for a 83,645-square-meter plot in Qingpu's Xujing area.


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