HOMERUNA Never-Ending Journey in Excellence
BIZBUZZSingapore Sustainability Academy
In recent years, Asia has been the growth engine of the global economy. While uncertainty continues to weigh on the global environment, Asian economies are expected to remain resilient and deliver strong growth.
AT CDL, LEVERAGING STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS WITH HIGH-GROWTH NEW ECONOMY BUSINESSES IS CORE TO OUR INNOVATION STRATEGY. BY INTRODUCING NEW AND INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS OR DELIVERING EXISTING PRODUCTS IN A RESOURCE-EFFICIENT MANNER, WE CAN FURTHER ENHANCE OUR GROWTH AND STRENGTHEN OUR LONG-TERM RECURRING INCOME STREAMS."
Since we entered the China market some seven years ago, this overseas market has been integral to our diversification strategy. Today, most of CDL's land bank is overseas — with China accounting for 40% of our proposed gross floor area (GFA).
In 2010, through our wholly-owned subsidiary, CDL China Limited, we began our strategic foray into the world's most populous economy, with a specific focus on upper tier cities which are more resilient to changing economic conditions.
During this time, we acquired three prime development sites as well as a completed residential project and a commercial project. Totalling over 530,000 square metres of GFA, the sites are located in Shanghai, Suzhou and Chongqing.
Our maiden acquisition was a heritage site atop the historic Eling Hill in the Yuzhong District of Chongqing in 2010, which was swiftly followed by a prime mixed-use development site beside Jinji Lake in Suzhou in 2011 and another prime riverfront site in Chongqing in 2012. After taking some time to focus on the development of these three sites, we resumed the acquisition trail in 2014 and purchased a completed luxury villa project in Shanghai in 2014. Earlier this year, we acquired our first commercial project within the Hongqiao Central Business District, one of Shanghai's fastest growing business areas.
We have made progress in realising the potential and value of these prime sites. In 2016, we achieved a total sales value of RMB 3.47 billion from three of the launched residential projects — Eling Residences in Chongqing, Hong Leong City Center in Suzhou and Hongqiao Royal Lake in Shanghai.
Expanding beyond brick and mortar, we have forged collaborative partnerships with new economy businesses platforms that are complementary to our core businesses of real estate and hospitality.
Since last September, we have collectively invested RMB 172 million in two leading sharing economy platforms in China. They include a 20% stake in mamahome, one of China's fastest growing online apartment rental platforms, and a 24% equity stake in Distrii, China's leading co-working space operator.
Aside from contributing future long-term recurring income streams, these partnerships offer CDL immediate exposure to business segments with significant potential growth and future synergies. Both the mamahome and Distrii platforms provide scalability and can be effectively applied to our asset portfolio.
With over 164,858 apartment listings spanning over 41 cities in China, mamahome represents an effective platform to enhance leasing efforts for CDL's residential leasing properties and serviced apartments.
Similarly, Distrii is expanding at a strong velocity and currently has 15 locations in China with a seating capacity of 3,700. Besides domestic expansion, Distrii has set its sights on bringing its brand overseas. As a strategic investor, CDL not only contributes capital but also provides international market expertise to support Distrii's expansion plans.
Next year, Distrii will open its first international outpost at Republic Plaza, CDL's flagship commercial property in Singapore. Spanning over 60,000 square feet of space, this facility is expected to be one of Singapore's largest co-working facilities, integrating office space, food and beverage, entertainment and recreational facilities.
Leveraging such strategic partnerships is core to our innovation strategy and we actively seek investment opportunities that present medium- to long-term capital value appreciation potential and will bolster our recurring income streams.
Real estate has always been a key driver for China's economy and its long-term fundamentals are sound. While our China growth strategy continues to evolve, we remain focused on deepening our presence in the face of China's rebalancing and realising our vision of creating an indelible imprint on China's cityscape through our iconic developments.
Mr Sherman Kwek
CDL Deputy CEO
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