SHANGHAI, April 17 (Reuters) - China's Noah Holdings Ltd , a distributor of wealth management products to high-networth individuals, plans to launch a real estate fund worth as much as 18 billion yuan ($2.85 billion) as cash-strapped developers seek alternatives to bank lending, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Tuesday.
Noah plans to raise 10-18 billion yuan for the fund in partnership with China's real estate service company E-House (China) Holdings Ltd, with about 1 billion yuan coming from so-called cornerstone investors, the newspaper said.
Chinese developers are suffering from plummeting sales, falling home prices and capital shortages as Beijing shows little sign of relaxing curbs aimed at cooling China's property market and fighting speculation.
With banks putting restrictions on property loans, developers are seeking new sources of funding, creating opportunities for private equity funds. ($1 = 6.3150 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Gabriel Wildau; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)