Standard Chartered Private Equity Buys Stake in China Property

Standard Chartered Plc (STAN)’s private equity arm led a group to buy a 28 percent stake in a Longfor Properties Co. (960) development for $124 million, the latest foreign investor to signal interest in China’s property market.

Standard Chartered Private Equity will invest $70 million, and the rest will be funded by an unnamed Chinese institutional investor and an Asian family group, the London-based bank said in a statement today. The office and retail development project, spanning 312,310 square meters (3.4 million square feet) is located in the western city of Chongqing, it said.

The London bank follows others such as CBRE Global Investors to search for investment opportunities in China real estate after four years of government curbs prompted a slowdown in the industry. Some Chinese cities are already easing property policies after home sales in the first five months slumped 10 percent from a year earlier, compared with the 27 percent surge last year.

Longfor Properties, based in Beijing, is controlled by billionaire Wu Yajun. She has a net worth of $3.2 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires index.

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