(Yicai Global) March 9 -- In response to claims it had suspended China sales of its Malaysian 'Forest City' project, mega real estate conglomerate Country Garden Holdings Company Ltd. [HKG:2007] said sales of the project had not halted, but that the suspension is rather a result of renovating its domestic showrooms.
Consisting mainly of land reclaimed from the sea, Country Garden's 'Forest City' project lies in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, adjacent to Singapore, and has received total investment of USD36 billion (CNY250 billion). Promoters hope the area will become a second Shenzhen, which leveraged its proximity to Hong Kong to rapidly develop in the 1980s and 1990s.
Occupying an area of around 14 square kilometers, the project includes hotels and office buildings, in addition to residential housing. A source said today that the project had suspended its domestic sales. China's tightened foreign exchange controls are to blame, as the South China Morning Post reported. Many Chinese buyers are attracted to the project because of Malaysia's long-term stay visa program.
Country Garden said its showrooms should better match the progress and requirements of its overseas strategy. Country Garden's showrooms will expand their future functions to form a key platform for brand demonstration for both overseas and domestic consumers, rather than serving solely to exhibit and sell projects, it stated. The company's Forest City project is attracting great investment interest, but the opening time of its showrooms has yet to be fixed.