Ying Li stake a key step in China Everbright's growth plans

THE Chinese firm investing in Singapore-listed developer Ying Li International Real Estate sees the move as a key step in an ambitious growth strategy.

China Everbright Limited (CEL) will become Ying Li's second largest shareholder once the investment process is complete.

Mr James Pan, a member of CEL's management decision committee, said at a media briefing on Tuesday that Ying Li's strength in the booming city of Chongqing and its unique position among Chinese developers are key reasons behind the move.

He added that CEL intends to help Ying Li replace some of its debt and use fresh capital to help it acquire new land.

"With our professional asset management service, we can help Ying Li consolidate its assets and provide diversified financial instruments [like real estate investment trusts and commercial trusts) for our investors," said Mr Pan, who is also head of real estate investment and fund raising at CEL.

He added that these additional financial instruments could come in five years time, or even sooner.

Ying Li shares closed at 29.5 cents on Tuesday evening, with a market capitalisation of about $641.8 million.