Hong Kong’s top property developer Sun Hung Kai Properties (00016.HK) has appointed Wu Xiangdong, a former executive director of China Resources Land (01109.HK), as an independent non-executive director. Wu is the first mainlander to join the company’s board.
Wu, 52, graduated from the school of Architecture at Tsinghua University. He joined state-owned China Resources Group in 1993, and became the head of the group’s property business in 2009. He served as president of China Resources Land.
MixC shopping malls are the most well-known commercial complex projects overseen by Wu. Now there are over 30 such malls across China.
Few commercial properties developed by SOEs can compete with those developed by private sector developers, MixC malls are rare exceptions.
Wu is said to be very attentive to details, and he often visits successful shopping malls to learn from them.
In March this year, Ping An Insurance’s founder Ma Mingzhe persuaded Wu to leave China Resources and join China Fortune Land Development as a joint chairman.
Ping An owns 25 percent stake in China Fortune Land Development, which is the commercial property flagship of Ping An.
The Chinese insurance firm is keen to build a property empire as it seeks to put its massive premiums income to use and create a sound income stream.
Fresh on the job, Wu has been busy scouting for projects all over China. Now, why would he want to divert his precious time to serve as a non-executive director for Sun Hung Kai Properties?
Well, Ping An Insurance is perhaps the largest, albeit invisible, property player in China, as it has quietly accumulated stakes in a number of leading property firms including Country Garden, China Fortune Land Development, CIFI Holdings (Group) and China Jinmao Holdings Group.
Meanwhile, Sun Hung Kai Properties’ mega project in Shanghai, which has a total floor area of 7.6 million square meters, is expected to be completed in phases from this year to 2023.
This is the biggest ever project and a key income source for the company in coming years.
So far, there is no Hong Kong developer in Ping An’s portfolio. Could the appointment of Wu have anything to do with a Ping An property investment expansion plan?
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Aug 29
Translation by Julie Zhu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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