Real estate agency E-House China files for Hong Kong IPO
Less than two years after delisting from the New York Stock Exchange, China’s largest real estate agency has submitted an IPO application to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
E-House China, which operates the real estate data provider CRIC Information Group in addition to its network of property sales and marketing offices across China, filed the application for what some analysts expect will be a $600 million Hong Kong listing on Thursday night, just days before new rules took effect to allow companies listing on the bourse to make use of dual-class share structures.
E-House’s de-listing from the NYSE and the subsequent relisting has received extensive support from mainland real estate developers which rely on the agency’s marketing services.
China’s top three developers by contracted sales, Country Garden, Evergrande Real Estate and China Vanke each hold 15 percent stakes in the property agent as it prepares for its new public listing.
Country Garden disclosed in late December that it had agreed to borrow just less than HK$1.8 billion (US$228 million) from BNP Paribas for 36 months for the purposes of purchasing a 12.35 percent stake in E-House China, and the mainland developer’s Hong Kong subsidiary took an additional 4.21-percent share in E-House. In addition to these investments by China’s big three developers, Fujian-based Lonking Holdings, Agile Property, Sunac China all took two percent stakes in E-House along with Evergrande vice chairman Xia Haijun and Guangzhou R&F Properties co-chairman Li Sze-lim who invested as private individuals.