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Fosun to Invest in $1.6 Billion Resort in China’s Hainan Prov.

Fosun International Ltd., the investment arm of China’s biggest closely held industrial group, said it will invest in a 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) resort in southern China’s Hainan island.

The company expects work on the project, a venture with the Kerzner Group, to start at year-end, with completion in 2016, according to a Hong Kong stock exchange filing yesterday. Fosun said its total investment in the project isn’t yet set.

The project will be part of the at least 100 billion yuan investment Fosun plans on tourism projects across China, Qian Jiannong, president of Fosun Tourism & Commercial Group, said earlier yesterday. The resort will be built with Bahamas-based hotel operator Kerzner International Holdings Ltd. and Shanghai-based Fosun will fund the entire project, he said.

Fosun, owned by Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang, is seeking to diversify its holdings, which include property, mining and drugs. Fosun, which owns a stake in Greek duty-free store operator and jewelry maker Folli Follie, in July won approval from regulators to take over the French resort operator Club Mediterranee SA with Ardian, formerly known as Axa Private Equity. It also agreed in September to buy a stake in Italian suit maker Raffaele Caruso SpA.

Fosun’s tourism investments will mainly be in China and the company is working with local governments to build holiday resorts across China, Qian said yesterday in a media briefing in Shanghai.

Kerzner, the builder of Atlantis resorts in the Bahamas and Dubai, will build the hotel along the Haitang Bay National Coast, overlooking the South China Sea, the companies said in a joint statement yesterday.

Middle-class Chinese are increasing travel overseas and at home, boosting profits for resorts, malls and luxury brands across Asia. Sixty percent of the 28 million people who visited Macau last year were from China, fueling a rush to replicate the success of the gambling and entertainment hub.

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