City Developments Limited, CDL, said it will invest HK$237.81 million in China’s leading data-based real estate agency E-House, which has filed to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by end July 2018.
The company said it will join other Chinese developers including China Evergrande Group, China Vanke and Country Garden Holdings which are existing shareholders of E-House.
The other cornerstone investors participating in this IPO are Alibaba, one of the top global technology companies, Overseas Chinese Town Holding, a state-owned enterprise developer, and an associate company to Henderson Land Development, a leading developer in Hong Kong. Widely regarded as China’s preeminent real estate transaction service provider, E-House has a geographic footprint spanning 186 cities across 30 provinces in the country and its extensive network comprises a total of more than 17,000 sales agents.
Its main businesses comprise real estate agency services in the primary market E-House Marketing, real estate data consultancy CRIC and real estate brokerage network services Fangyou. E-House’s key business of marketing residential projects generated revenue of RMB 3.9 billion in 2017, making it the largest real estate agency service provider in the primary market in China.
Since E-House was established in 2000, it has provided integrated marketing services for thousands of real estate projects in China. E-House then launched real estate data consultancy CRIC in 2002 and subsequently commercialised it in 2006. CRIC has since been recognised as China’s expert in real estate data application, serving more than 95% of the top 100 real estate companies in China.
Fangyou, launched in 2016, is E-House’s burgeoning business unit that amalgamates small and mid-sized brokers under its network to provide comprehensive housing transaction services. Mr Sherman Kwek, CDL Group Chief Executive Officer, said, “In 2010, we saw great potential in China’s real estate market and earmarked the country as one of our key overseas markets, acquiring several projects in a short span of time. With an increasingly affluent population and a continuing trend of urbanisation, we have strong confidence in the residential market there.
Aside from investing in residential, commercial and mixed-use projects in Shanghai, Suzhou and Chongqing, the next logical step was to invest in the nation’s top sales agency with an extensive network of agents and a deep, robust database for purposes of research and analytics. CDL is very honoured to be invited as a cornerstone investor in E-House’s IPO.
He added that “In view of the increasing demand for overseas properties among Chinese investors, we see strong potential in E-House’s growth. As it expands not only in China but also globally, we will be able to leverage its network, platform and expertise for CDL’s residential projects in various countries.”