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Chinese Developers Expand Foreign Investment

January 10, 2014

The Ram Brewery is one of the foreign assets Greenland Holdings has recently acquired.

According to a recent post on, one of the trends to watch in international real estate is the entry of more Chinese developers into foreign markets.  The trail is being blazed by several major Chinese real estate developers, including the Chinese state-owned Greenland Holding Group Co.  While Greenland is renowned within China for their role in construction one of the largest towers in the country, this isn’t their first foray into foreign real estate.

They made a splash this week by purchasing London’s famous and historical Ram Brewery.  They are committing nearly $1 billion to the massive rehab project.  Once the project is complete, Londoners will have the opportunity to shop, live, and even learn about the history of the brewery.  Greenland plans to convert the space into luxury condos and retail space while constructing a museum of brewing to pay homage to the oldest brewery in London.

The purchase of Ram is not an isolated case either.  Greenland Holdings also has plans in the works to construct another billion dollar project, a residential tower in London’s financial district.

If Greenland and other Chinese developers begin to see the 25% returns they’re hoping for, it won’t be long before other Chinese developers feel comfortable entering the foreign real estate market.  Based on the analysis of CBRE Asia’s director, Greg Penn, Yue Wang predicts that real estate developers could be the ones laying down the welcome mat for other types of Chinese investors.  Don’t be surprised if this trend leads to wealthy Chinese venture capitalists investing in more overseas real estate.  Penn also envisions pension funds and insurance companies getting in on the foreign market action in the near future.

As of now, Chinese developers are expanding into Europe and Australia but ventures in the US, Canada and even Brazil and India could be on the way.  Definitely a trend to watch for anyone in the international real estate business.

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