(Yicai) Dec. 6 -- A number of cash-rich Chinese distillers and coal miners have started to buy up land and properties in the country amid a sluggish real estate market.
An affiliate of liquor maker Jingpai paid CNY3.5 billion (USD490 million) for a sought-after land plot in Suzhou, eastern Jiangsu province, in October at a premium rate of 15 percent. The company has bought up a lot of property in Nanjing and Suzhou this year and is cooperating with real estate developers to let it operate them.
And coal miner Inner Mongolia Manshi Coal Group splashed out CNY4.1 billion (USD575.8 million) on three luxury apartment buildings in Shanghai. Two other coal producers, Erdos Group and Huineng Group, also recently spent CNY2.6 billion and CNY6.2 billion, respectively, on property in Shanghai.
Now is the time to pick up bargains as the real estate market is still stagnant and there are stimulus policies that should soon take effect, Zhang Hongwei, founder of Jingjian Consulting, told Yicai. Companies with deep pockets can buy up properties with a long-term view. They should look for prime properties in good locations that have a low price, he added.
Whether it is time to bargain hunt or not depends on the situation and it is still necessary to pay attention to market and policy risks when getting involved in real estate because of the volatile nature of the market, said Bai Wenxi, chief economist of IPG China.
Real estate is a capital-intensive industry with a lack of liquidity so investors need to carefully weigh up the pros and cons before they make a decision, he said.
Editor: Kim Taylor