Pramerica invests $73m in China JV

The real estate investment arm of insurer Prudential Financial and Hong Kong company Minmetals are reportedly buying a 99 percent stake in a housing project in Nanjing, China.

Pramerica is investing 500 million yuan ($73 million; €50 million) in a housing project in the Chinese city of Nanjing in partnership with Hong Kong conglomerate Minmetals, according to a report from Reuters.

The real estate investment arm of the insurance company, Prudential Financial, and the real estate arm of Minmetals, Minmetals Land, is buying a 98.88 percent stake in the project from a subsidiary of Minmetals.

Pramerica was unavailable for comment at the time of press. However the report said Minmetals originally bought the land for residential development for about 830 million yuan. Pramerica, it went on to say, has carved out a reputation for creating joint ventures with property firms with short-term capital deficiencies.

Pramerica had more than $47 billion of assets under management as of June this year, two-thirds of it focused on the US and almost one fifth in Europe. Just over 10 percent, $5.1 billion, was concentrated on the Asia region, according to the firm’s website.

In March, the firm’s Asian arm, Pramerica Real Estate Investors (Asia), bid S800.9 million ($580 million, €367 million) for a mall site above an MTR and bus station in Singapore. According to Singapore’s Land Transport Authority, which was handling the government tender, the bid is about S74 million more than the second highest offer from Australia’s Lend Lease Group. The bid was for a 99-year lease to develop about 270,000 square feet above the Serangoon MRT station on Singapore’s North East line.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal said Hong Kong property tycoon Vincent Lo had invested approximately $700 million over the past year on a dozen large real-estate projects left unfinished by cash-strapped developers. The investments were made through his latest investment vehicle, China Central Properties. Lo said at the time: “Last year, when the market was hot, everyone thought they could make a pot of gold. But this year, they see that isn't true.”