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China startup Juwai seeks IPO in Australia as early as year-end

[BEIJING] Juwai.com, a property search engine that lists real estate around the world for Chinese buyers, is seeking to go public in Australia as early as this year.

The firm is raising funds from institutional investors and strategic partners before selling shares in a public offering at the end of the year or in early 2017, Charles Pittar, chief executive officer of Juwai, said in an interview in Tokyo Friday. He declined to provide additional details such as the planned size of the offering.

"The listing is important for our growth," said Mr Pittar, who was appointed as CEO of Juwai earlier this year.

Chinese buyers have been stocking up on property overseas as their wealth has surged, helping to boost real estate prices in cities including Sydney, New York and Tokyo.

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Juwai, based in Hong Kong and Shanghai, has 2 million unique visitors per month and means "Living Abroad." It connects Chinese buyers with brokers overseas through 2.5 million listings on its website.

Juwai plans to use the funds raised to hire talent around the world to boost its presence, said Mr Pittar, who previously served as chief operating officer at Juwai before being appointed CEO.

Before joining Juwai, he was COO of Asia for Australia's Macquarie Bank Ltd.

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