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En bloc investment may reach US$2.9b
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Shanghai may see as much as 20 billion yuan (US$2.93 billion) in en bloc real estate investment this year amid an improving market sentiment with domestic investors a dominant role, DTZ, leading real estate services provider, forecast yesterday.

About 11 billion yuan worth of en bloc acquisition deals have been completed so far this year while several more are expected to be sealed in the remaining months of the year, likely pushing the annual amount to between 18 billion yuan and 20 billion yuan, according to Jim Yip, director for investment at DTZ Shanghai.

"That will be close to, or exceed, last year's level which stood at around 17 billion to 18 billion yuan," said Yip. "To be somewhat different, this year we've noticed that more domestic investors, especially those who were rather inactive in property investment in the past, have become dominant players in the market."

In the latest deal, Tian An China Investment Co Ltd announced in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange that it has signed a 990 million yuan framework agreement to purchase certain properties and ancillary facilities in the southern Minhang District for both investment and rental purposes.

Before that, SOHO China, a Beijing-based real estate firm, agreed in August to buy a top office building in downtown Jing'an District for 2.45 billion yuan from the real estate arm of Morgan Stanley, thus securing its first property investment deal in Shanghai.

The city's property investment market began to recover in March when Shanghai Lujiazui (Group) Co Ltd bought POS Plaza in Pudong for nearly 1.76 billion yuan.

(Shanghai Daily September 11, 2009)

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