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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

DTZ: Opportunities aplenty in China

CHINA's real estate market holds ample opportunity for property developers and individual investors looking to diversify their investment portfolio, said global property consultancy DTZ.

"In China, the retail market is one of the fastest growing markets and has seen successful foreign retailers such as the Parkson group enter the market," said DTZ's mainland China chief executive officer Edward K.C. Cheung in an interview with Business Times.

Cheung: Chinese developers are not as experienced in developing resorts like those found in Malaysia

Malaysian developers can also look at growing the hospitality and entertainment market in China.

"The Chinese developers are not as experienced in developing resorts like those found in Malaysia. We are looking at resort destinations such as Langkawi to be brought to Hainan," he added.

Cheung said there was also room for the development of entertainment facilities such as theme parks in China.

Recently, Malaysia's Lion Group founder Tan Sri William Cheng tied up with business partners to invest 17 billion yuan (RM7.74 billion) in a film studio and theme park in China's Yunnan province.

Brian Koh, executive director of investment for DTZ Nawawi Tie Leung Property Consultants Sdn Bhd, said local developers can derive as much as 30 per cent of their revenue from offshore projects.

DTZ, which operates across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas, will focus on growing its Chinese business.

It aims to double its number of offices to 30 within 10 years, said DTZ's North Asia chairman David C Watt.

Aside from China, Watt said, the consultancy will concentrate on growing its business in India for the next five years.

"No doubt that these two markets will be the top four markets of the world in terms of pure economic size," he said.

The firm, which is involved in leasing, property management, valuation and investment, said it will enter new markets such as South Korea and Vietnam.

DTZ, which provides consultancy for residential, office, retail, hotel and industrial segments, doubles its revenue every five years.

"Our revenue (derived from consultancy fees) globally is just over US$1 billion (RM3.26 billion) annually," said Watt.

By New Straits Times (by Jeeva Arulampalam)

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