Chinese giant gives thumbs up to Aussie real estate

Commercial property giant, Wanda Group led by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin has purchased the famous Jewel Towers on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Commercial property giant, Wanda Group led by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin has purchased the famous Jewel Towers on Australia’s Gold Coast.

As Jewel’s major shareholder, Wanda will jointly develop the project with its original owners. The company plans to invest USD900 million (AU1 Billion) to build a luxury five-star Wanda Vista hotel and serviced apartments. The Jewel is Wanda’s fifth overseas hotel project announcement.

Dalian Wanda Group was founded in 1988 and operates in four major industries - commercial property, luxury hotels, culture & tourism, and department stores. In 2013, the company’s assets totalled 380 billion yuan (AU67.6 billion), its annual income reached 186.6 billion yuan (AU33.2 billion) and net profits exceeded 12.5 billion yuan ($2.8 billion).

According to a report in Property Observer, the Wang Group believes “that given the unique location of the Jewel property and its unobstructed waterfront views along the Surfers Paradise of Gold Coast, the company is confident it can maximise the development value of the Jewel property and generate attractive returns on this investment.”

Clarke Brackenridge, Principal of Raine & Horne Surfers Paradise said that the decision by Dalian Wanda is the latest sign that Chinese investors have Australian real estate squarely in its sights.

“Despite the explosive comments from the business and political community this week, the decision by Wanda and others to invest here is a sign that Australian bricks and mortar is a well-regarded asset class by cashed-up Chinese investors,” said Mr Brackenridge.

The decision by Wanda to invest on the Gold Coast follows the commitment from a consortium led by ASF Group to build a $7.5 billion cruise ship terminal and resort. ASF is a Sino-Australian investment and trading house which focuses principally on the resources, property, infrastructure, travel and financial services sectors.

Mr Brackenridge added, “These combined investments auger well for the long-term viability of the Gold Coast economy, and the rebounding South East Queensland property markets.”

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