StanChart private equity leads $124 mln China property deal

HONG KONG, July 10 Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:51am EDT

HONG KONG, July 10 (Reuters) - Standard Chartered Bank said on Thursday its private equity arm led a $124 million investment to buy a 28 percent stake in a commercial real estate project in China even as real estate prices ease.

Standard Chartered said it invested $69.4 million, or just over half, of the total into the project, which is sponsored by Hong Kong-listed Longfor Properties Co Ltd and located in the western province of Chongqing.

Other investors included an unnamed Chinese institutional investor and an Asian family, the statement said.

The project, in one of Chongqing's main business centres, has a gross floor area of 312,310 square metres.

Longfor Properties has a market capitalisation of over $7 billion and a land bank of over 41 million square metres.

Economists say the cooling housing market may pose a significant risk to China's economy if conditions deteriorate sharply. Average home prices fell for the first time in May while new construction starts have tumbled.

Analysts believe the Beijing government may have to announce more stimulus measures in the coming months to offset the increasing drag from the cooling property sector, Reuters previously reported. (Reporting by Stephen Aldred; Editing by Miral Fahmy)