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January 25, 2017

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Strong gain in overseas realty deals

INVESTMENTS by Chinese mainland investors in overseas commercial and residential properties surged 53 percent from 2015 to a record US$33 billion last year, mainly boosted by insurers’ notable purchases, global real estate services provider JLL said yesterday.

While investment in land, offices and hotels accounted for 90 percent of all Chinese outbound capital in the last three years, the hotel and industrial sectors posted the largest increase in 2016 due to significant transactions in the United States.

One of the noteworthy deals last year involved Anbang Insurance buying Strategic Hotels and Resorts for over US$6 billion and China Life Insurance’s portfolio purchase from Starwood Capital Group.

“We do believe that Chinese investors will continue to be major movers of capital into global real estate for many years to come,” said David Green-Morgan, director of global capital markets research at JLL. “But a similar increase in 2017 may be challenging given the recent discussion about China monitoring its capital outflows.”

Chinese mainland investors also returned to the land market last year, with land acquisitions rising 44 percent following deals in Hong Kong, Australia and Malaysia, JLL said.


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