Spurned by banks, China property firms court PE funds
Capital-hungry Chinese developers are turning to real estate private equity (PE) funds this year as big domestic banks tighten lending to help Beijing curb property prices, a top concern for most Chinese. Foreign banks and buyout funds have been in active discussions with private equity specialist lawyers to form property funds since the start of the year, and some multi-hundred-million dollar funds are ready to go, according to people involved in these fund-raising plans. "Private equity players believe the more bank loans are tightened, the bigger the opportunity for them to invest in Chinese properties," said a lawyer working for a US client, which is forming a real estate fund with a China focus. "When developers find it difficult to get loans from banks, they have to seek alternatives, and private equity funds will be a good option," said the lawyer. The legal and financial sources interviewed by Reuters for this story declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media.