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Country Garden Holdings (SEHK: 2007), one of the leading integrated property developers in China, will sell a 9.9% strategic investment stake to Ping An Life Insurance Company of China (SEHK: 2318; SSE: 601318). Country Garden will sell 2.236 billion new shares to Ping An Life at HK$2.816 per share, representing a 10% discount of its last traded price of HK$3.13, according to a Hong Kong stock exchange filing on Wednesday.  These shares will be subject to a lock-up period of 1 year. The proceeds from the sales of the shares will amount to approximately HK$6.295 billion, and will be used for the company’s further development and working capital. With the close strategic cooperation, Country Garden and Ping An will develop an integrated business platform, targeting local communities’ needs and demands brought by China’s ongoing urbanization. The partnership between Country Garden and Ping An reflects both parties’ shared confidence on the outlook of China’s property industry and its ongoing urbanization. This cross-sector cooperation between leading corporations is in line with the development trend of the property industry. Country Garden is convinced that partnering with Ping An will strengthen the group’s competitiveness in the property industry, facilitate the development of the market and consolidation of the industry, enable the partners to complement each other and allow them to expand market share. In addition, the strategic partnership will help Country Garden to optimize its shareholder structure and further expand its financing channels. Ping An’s investment in the builder comes after China’s government relaxed home-buying curbs this week, seeking to revive a slumping property market that’s weighed on the broader economy. Shares of Country Garden, controlled by China’s second-richest woman Yang Huiyan, have dropped 7.7% in the past year, trailing Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index, which has gained about 12 percent, according to Bloomberg. [caption id="attachment_5369" align="aligncenter" width="213"]Yang Huiyan Yang Huiyan, controlling shareholder of Country Garden Holdings, and 2nd wealthiest woman in China.[/caption] “Ping An will continue to provide support to Country Garden on the basis of this strategic cooperation, which will help facilitate the group’s financing,” the developer said. “Both parties might further their ties on investment, financial, funds and asset management.” The investment will make Ping An the developer’s second-largest shareholder and dilute Yang’s holding to 53.6 percent from 59.5 percent, according to Country Garden. The developer plans to use the money to fund development projects and as general working capital, according to the statement. Country Garden will cooperate with Ping An on property investments, new deals and business models. And Ping An will engage Country Garden as its core partner in property development, offering support on marketing, capital and property management to Country Garden. Country Garden will provide Ping An with access to its community business, and the two companies will join forces in exploring further opportunities in Country Garden’s more than 200 existing projects which accommodate over 350,000 households. Both parties expect strategic synergy from this cooperation which will strengthen the value chain of the community business, and will enable them to develop an integrated business platform covering all stages of people’s lives. In terms of financial cooperation, Ping An will continue to provide support to Country Garden on the basis of this strategic cooperation, which will help facilitate the Group’s financing. Both parties intend to further their ties pertaining to investments and asset management. In addition, Ping An’s insurance sales network will be able to boost Country Garden’s property sales, and the partners will continue to explore and innovate new forms of real estate sales and marketing. Under the “new normal” of Chinese economic development, Country Garden believes that urbanization will become the growth driver of real estate industry and generate opportunities for market consolidation. The strategic alliance with Ping An is expected to strengthen the Group’s competitiveness under such new circumstances, while providing the market and customers with more comprehensive products and services. Country Garden expects the combined scale and competitiveness of both parties will help create greater value and development for each other and for their investors and customers as well. The details of the strategic cooperation between Country Garden and Ping An are still under discussion and will be implemented progressively. [caption id="attachment_5370" align="aligncenter" width="400"]country-garden Country Garden Danga Bay, Iskandar, Malaysia[/caption] Country Garden is one of China’s leading integrated property developers. It has standardized operations with business comprising property development construction, installation, fitting, property management, property investment, as well as hotel development and management. In addition, “Country Garden” has been named by the PRC State Administration for Industry and Commerce as “China’s Well-Known Trademarks” in the property sector in 2006. In September 2007 Country Garden became a constituent stock of MSCI Global Standard Indices, Hang Seng Composite Index 200 and Hang Seng Mainland Composite Index.]]>