Half of Malaysia property developer Country Garden's sales offices in China have reopened: Executive

Condominium blocks that are fully sold out are marked by signs at the Country Gardens' Forest City showroom in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on Feb 21, 2017.
Condominium blocks that are fully sold out are marked by signs at the Country Gardens' Forest City showroom in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on Feb 21, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Half of Country Garden's sales galleries in China have reopened since Monday (March 13) as it adjusts its marketing strategy to target global buyers, said Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd chief strategy officer Yu Runze.

Speaking to reporters here during a visit by China's ambassador Dr Huang Huikang to the development, Yu refuted claims that the company's sales galleries were closed in mainland China.

"We wanted to update our marketing materials in the galleries to highlight our various domestic projects within Chinese shores," said Yu.

He said that sales galleries in cities with a large population of foreigners - like Shanghai - would feature Forest City heavily.

Concerns were raised after news emerged last Friday that property developer Country Garden has closed all its showrooms in China promoting the Forest City project amid Beijing's intensified crackdown on capital outflows.

Thousands of apartments in the US$100 billion (S$140 billion) project in the Iskandar special economic zone have been sold, with Chinese nationals accounting for 70 per cent of buyers.

The mixed development project, which will span four man-made islands in Gelang Patah when completed, is expected to contribute some RM66 billion (S$21 billion) in tax revenue to Malaysia over the next 20 years.

Yu said while the company was not in the best position to comment on China's controls on foreign exchange transactions, it always realigns its marketing strategy to respond to any policy changes in China and Malaysia.

"Chinese nationals are not allowed to convert yuan into foreign currencies to invest in property overseas. This has always been the case. We have always focused on those with offshore capital," he said.

Yu added that Country Garden has galleries in Jakarta, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and plans to open galleries to promote Forest City in India, Cambodia, Laos and Dubai soon

Country Garden Holdings and Esplanada Danga 88 Sdn Bhd are developing the 20 sq km Forest City project at the Iskandar Specific Economic Zone in Johor.

It is targeted to provide up to RM175 billion of foreign direct investment over the next 20 years.