It’s a double celebration for CapitaLand as the Group ushers in the year of the Horse and celebrates its 20 th year in China. When the Group entered the country in 1994, it was one of the first foreign developers to do so. Since then, CapitaLand has established itself as a leading real estate developer in China with a diversified portfolio of homes, offices, shopping malls, serviced residences and mixed-used developments. From 2009 to 2013, The Group has invested close to S$3.9 billion (RMB19.2 billion) in China, accounting for 10% of Singapore's investment in China during the period. China is CapitaLand’s largest market outside of Singapore.
At the Group’s Lunar New Year Spring Festival held in February 2014 that was attended by over 300 guests, Mr Lim Ming Yan, President and Group CEO, CapitaLand Limited, said, “China has played a vital role in CapitaLand’s growth story and is an important core market to the Group. Looking ahead, we will focus our growth in five city clusters in China: Beijing/Tianjin, Shanghai/Hangzhou/Suzhou/Ningbo, Guangzhou/Shenzhen, Chengdu/Chongqing, and Wuhan.”
China, a Gem in CapitaLand’s Growth Strategy
Today, CapitaLand owns or manages 145 properties in 45 Chinese cities worth over RMB200 billion (over S$42 billion). As at 30 September 2013, CapitaLand’s China business accounts for 39 per cent (S$14.2 billion) of the Group’s total assets of S$36.4 billion excluding treasury cash, up from 9 per cent (S$1.5 billion) just a decade ago.
“We are honoured to have contributed to and benefited from the country’s economic development and phenomenal urbanisation programme,” said Mr Lim.
“The growing market trend towards larger integrated developments in these markets is an opportunity for us to harness synergies across our competencies in developing homes, offices, shopping malls, serviced residences and fund management. As a long-term investor in China, CapitaLand will continue to develop quality and innovative real estate products and services to build a better life for the Chinese community and create sustainable value for the Group and its stakeholders.”
Building Good Homes in China
Since its foray into China, CapitaLand China has built more than 40,000 mass and high-end residential units there. A further 60,000 residential units are in the pipeline to address the housing needs of the Chinese.
Leading Shopping Mall Developer, Owner and Manager in China
From its first mall in China in 2003, CapitaMalls Asia (CMA), the Group’s shopping mall business which is separately listed on both the Singapore and the Hong Kong stock exchanges, now has over 60 malls spanning a total gross floor area of approximately 6.4 million square metres, making it a leading shopping mall developer, owner and manager in the country.
One of the First Multi-sector Real Estate Developers in China
CapitaLand has also successfully introduced its signature 'Raffles City' brand of mixed-use developments to China. Including the first, Raffles City Shanghai opened in 2004, it now has eight Raffles Cities spanning a total construction area of over 3.1 million square metres with an estimated value of S$12 billion upon completion. The Raffles City developments in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Ningo have begun operations while the four other Raffles City developments in Chongqing, Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Shanghai (Changning) are currently under development.
Largest International Serviced Residence owner-operator in China
Since its entry into China in 1994, CapitaLand’s wholly-owned serviced residence business arm, The Ascott Limited (Ascott) which operates the brands Ascott, Citadines and Somerset, has become the largest international serviced residence owner-operator in the country. Through acquisitions, management contracts and strategic alliances, Ascott now has 55 properties across 20 cities.
Over the years, Ascott has achieved several firsts. In 2007, it launched the US$500 million Ascott China Fund, which is the first private equity fund dedicated to investing in serviced residences across China. Last year, it crossed a major milestone of having 10,000 units in the country and launched its first branded residence in the country for strata sale. Ascott plans to achieve its target of 12,000 apartment units in China by 2015.
One of the Largest Real Estate Fund Management Businesses in China
CapitaLand is a leading player in the real estate fund management scene in China as well. It is one of the largest with assets under management diversified across its residential, shopping mall, serviced residence and mixed-use development businesses; and a portfolio that includes 12 private equity funds and two Singapore-listed REITs – Ascott Reit and CRCT – that have a strong presence in China. Ascott Reit’s portfolio, spans Asia Pacific and Europe, and consists of seven serviced residence properties in China. CRCT is the first and only China shopping mall REIT with a portfolio of 10 income-producing malls.
CapitaLand’s credo of ‘Building People’ has been key to its success. The Group has a talented and dedicated local team that has a deep understanding of China’s vast market, its culture, legislation and consumer behavior. China accounts for more than 50 per cent of CapitaLand’s global staff strength, with over 7,000 staff in the country, of which 95 per cent are local.
Besides developing local talent, the Group also believes in contributing to the local community in which it operates. To date, CapitaLand has donated more than RMB43 million (over S$9 million) to support the education, healthcare and shelter needs of underprivileged children in China. It has also helped build 24 CapitaLand Hope Schools and attracted over 20,000 community volunteers under its ‘Building for Tomorrow’ philanthropic platform. Over 100,000 underprivileged children in China have benefited from the Group’s efforts.
2014 will see several events to mark CapitaLand’s 20-year business in China. A special commemorative ‘CapitaLand 20 Years in China’ logo was unveiled at the Lunar New Year celebration in Singapore and ‘CapitaLand 20 Years in China’ celebrations will be held throughout the year, with various initiatives planned across the country, culminating in a gala event in China later in the year. The Group is looking forward to more brilliant ventures, successes and meaningful contributions in China.