The Chinese economy may be slowing but Singapore-listed real estate development and construction firm KSH Holdings expects China to remain a key driver of its property development business.
The firm said yesterday that it aims to launch 3,050 residential units for sale at its joint-venture township project in Gaobeidian, Hebei province, by the year-end, subject to approval from the authorities.
KSH has a 22.5 per cent stake in the massive 533.3ha Gaobeidian project, dubbed the Sino-Singapore Health City. The other joint venture partners are Beijing Jia Hua Hong Yuan Investment, Oxley Holdings, Lian Beng Group, Heeton Holdings and Zap Piling.
KSH said it has invested more than 100 million yuan (S$21 million) in the project, out of about 450 million yuan invested overall by the joint venture partners.
The firm said the upcoming residential development comprises 1,600 mass-market units, with an estimated selling price of 4,000 yuan to 5,000 yuan per sq m; and 1,450 high-end units, priced at 7,000 yuan to 8,000 yuan per sq m.
These are part of the project's phase one, which will offer a total of 18,000 homes.
Apart from the residential development, KSH plans to start construction work on a 40,000 sq m commercial belt and a mountain- climbing training centre by June 30.
"Gaobeidian is a huge project. We look at all the opportunities - the high-speed train is there, it has been identified as a central town to serve Beijing, and the food logistics centre has also moved there," KSH executive chairman and managing director Choo Chee Onn said at a briefing yesterday.
Gaobeidian is 82km south-west of Beijing, or about 20 minutes by high-speed train.
Phase two of the township will boast 30,000 residential units and a food-safety testing centre, which will be developed with advice from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore, the firm said.
KSH said the total investment cost for the entire Gaobeidian project - to be completed over 10 years - will be 12.7 billion yuan.
"We are not too worried about the slowdown in China because there is still genuine demand for housing in the second- and third- tier cities," said KSH chief financial officer Tony Tang.
The firm on Monday posted a 47.6 per cent jump in its full-year net profit to $61.5 million, on revenue of $245.5 million.
The earnings boost came largely from the completion of the Liang Jing Ming Ju Phase Four Sequoia Mansion project in Tongzhou, on the outskirts of Beijing.
In Singapore, the firm is putting more focus on civil engineering work, in view of the slowing of building projects because of the lacklustre property market.
KSH said it is also investing $5 million to $8 million to redevelop and automate its factory at 39, Senoko Road. The project is expected to be completed in two years.