China Greenland to Invest $2 Billion in London Developments
By Bloomberg News
Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Greenland Holding Group Co., the builder of one of China’s tallest towers, will invest 1.2 billion pounds ($2 billion) on two property projects in London as Chinese developers branch out overseas.
The state-owned company, which is investing in the U.K. for the first time, will sign an agreement with Minerva Ltd. Today to acquire the Ram Brewery site in Wandsworth in southwest London, the two firms said in an e-mailed statement. The completed development will be valued at 600 million pounds, according to the statement. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.
Greenland, which entered the U.S. and Australia last year, joins Chinese developers including China Vanke Co. that are venturing into real estate abroad as they seek opportunities to diversify outside their home market. Dalian Wanda Group said in June it will build a luxury hotel and apartment building on the South Bank of the River Thames.
 “London is at the economic center of Europe, so investment here will have global influence,” Greenland Chairman Zhang Yuliang said at a press conference in London today. “We plan to invest further -- next in office, hotels and retail.” 
Greenland will also build apartments on a 3,700-square-meter (39,800-square-foot) site in the city’s financial district of Canary Wharf, the Shanghai-based company said in a separate statement.
The builder was looking at three London developments, Zhang said in an October interview.
The Wandsworth site, which Minerva bought in 2006, has preliminary permission for a 36-story tower containing 166 apartments and 9,500 square meters of shops, bars and restaurants, according to the statement.
Greenland is entering the London property market as home prices surge. Values gained 1.4 percent last month after rising a revised 0.7 percent in November, according to the U.K.’s Nationwide Building Society. Prices increased 8.4 percent in 2013, with London leading the gain, the Swindon, England-based lender said.
Greenland, set up in 1992 and owned by the Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of Shanghai Municipal Government, is also looking to enter Canada, France and Singapore this year, according to today’s statement.
The company reached an agreement with Forest City Ratner Cos. in October to co-develop the Atlantic Yards project in New York. The transaction was the biggest deal of its kind by a Chinese developer in the U.S., according to Greenland.
Greenland said in July it was investing $1 billion in a downtown Los Angeles project that will have hotels, offices, apartments and luxury homes.
Sales from overseas properties will reach 13 billion yuan ($2 billion) and exceed 30 billion yuan by 2015, Greenland said in today’s statement.