(Yicai Global) Aug. 7 -- Property developer Sunac China Holdings saw its share price close up almost 4 percent today, bucking the general downward trend of the markets, on the news that it has submitted a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange to peel off its property management business and place it in an independent listing.
The Tianjin-based firm's shares [HKG:1918] soared more than 7 percent this morning before settling down to close up 3.86 percent at HKD36.30 (USD4.68), with a market cap of HKD169 billion (USD21.8 billion). The Hang Seng Index declined 1.66 percent.
“The Company proposes to spin-off and separately list the shares of Sunac Services, a subsidiary of the Company, on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange by way of the Global Offering and the Distribution of a minor portion of the Sunac Services Shares to the Shareholders,” the firm said in its filing to HKEX yesterday, without going into further details.
This is the latest in a slew of large Chinese property developers splitting off their property management arms as they eye the huge gains made by the sector on the mainland and Hong Kong this year.
So far this year, 13 property management firms have submitted their IPO prospectus’, according to real estate consultancy firm CRIC Research Center. Rival China Evergrande Group filed for a USD2 billion listing of its services arm on July 31.
More listed property management firms is a sign that the sector is maturing, said Martin Ding, chief executive of real estate agency E-House China Enterprise Holdings. There will be about 50 such companies listed by the end of the year, according to the China Index Academy.
The sectors’ advances have been considerable. Nanjing-based Yincheng Life Service was the top performer with its stock price soaring more than five-fold since the beginning of the year. Zhong Ao Home Group’s stock has more than tripled while the share price of Binjiang Service Group, Times Neighborhood Holdings, Xinyuan Property Management Service and Ever Sunshine Lifestyle Services Group have all more than doubled.
The gains are predicated on solid performances. High revenue growth, stable cash flow, asset-light operations, weak reliance on economic cycles and other characteristics continue to boost the valuations of property management firms on the capital market. Last year, 25 property management firms averaged a 43 percent gain in operating revenue.
Sunac Services managed 635 property projects in 78 Chinese cities with a gross floor area of over 100 million square meters as of the end of May. Its net profit almost tripled last year to CNY270 million (USD38.8 million) from the year before on revenue of CNY2.8 billion (USD402.2 million), up 53.5 percent.
Editor: Kim Taylor