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Metro invests 200m yuan in Chengdu mall through property fund

PROPERTY development and investment group Metro Holdings has agreed to invest 200 million yuan (S$39.8 million) for a 50 per cent stake in Xiamen CICC Qihang Equity Investment Partnership, or CICC Qihang Fund in short.

The property fund has a fund size of 400 million yuan and was set up by CICC Capital, the private equity arm of China International Capital Corporation (CICC).

In turn, CICC Qihang Fund has formed a 50:50 joint venture with Xiamen ARA Qihang Equity Investment Fund, which is managed by ARA Asset Management.

This joint venture has agreed to acquire a prime commercial mall in Chengdu, China from independent vendor Tishman Speyer China Fund (Barbados).

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Metro will hold an effective 25 per cent stake in the mall through CICC Qihang Fund. ARA will be the mall's property manager, responsible for asset enhancement.

The mall is part of a landmark mixed development known as The Atrium, Metro said. The Atrium spans 123,170 square metres and includes a Class A office tower, luxury residences and premier serviced apartments.

The mall is located in the heart of Chengdu's central business district and the Dacisi business corridor. It is surrounded by international hotels, upscale office buildings and modern shopping malls such as Chengdu International Finance Square and Taikoo Li Chengdu, and has a total gross floor area of 45,352 sq m with net leasable area of 26,078 sq m and 387 carpark lots.

Metro said: "Chengdu has emerged as one of the most attractive new first-tier cities for businesses in China which has experienced rapid development. It has also become a hub city involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.

"On the retail front, Chengdu is ranked as fashionable as Shanghai and retail malls in Chengdu are surpassed only by Shanghai and Beijing. Its retail market has become more mature and sophisticated and is home to several international brands and Internet-celebrity brands." 

Metro's commitment will be funded primarily from internal cash sources and external borrowings.