3 Min Read
(Adds quotes from company officials, details on earnings)
* Posts 2013 net profit of 15.12 billion yuan vs 12.55 billion yuan yr ago
* Market needs to return to a logical level-executive
* Vanke, other developers heading overseas for growth
By Clare Jim
HONG KONG, March 6 (Reuters) - China Vanke Co Ltd , the mainland's largest listed developer, said on Thursday that property prices are overheating in some Chinese cities, the latest company to sound the alarm over real estate in the world's second-largest economy.
The warning adds to a series of recent news - from home price data to reports that developers have cut prices - that has rattled investors and hurt share prices of some of China's top property companies late last month.
"There's overheating in the market now. It needs to return to a logical level," secretary of the board, Tan Huajie, said after the company reported a 20.5 percent rise in full-year profit, in line with forecasts.
Tan, echoing comments by private developer SOHO China Ltd this week, also said rising land prices were continuing to create "land kings" - nicknamed for their record-breaking bids at land auctions.
Vanke said net profit for 2013 was 15.12 billion yuan ($2.47 billion), compared to 12.55 billion yuan a year earlier. That compared with forecasts for a net profit of 15.51 billion yuan, according to 13 analysts polled by ThomsonReuters SmartEstimates.
Vanke has joined a host of Chinese developers in venturing overseas at a time when tighter liquidity is fuelling worries over the outlook for China's property market.
It said last month it will team up with U.S. developers RFR Holding and Hines on a residential tower in New York that will target high-end customers. The development is Vanke's second in the United States after it tied up with Tishman Speyer in February last year on a project in San Francisco.
Vanke's president, Yu Liang, said on Thursday the company had not set a budget for its overseas investment but it hoped to learn from its foreign partners.
"Via these partnerships, we hope more people will know more about Vanke and they'll come to us for other opportunities," Yu added.
China is expected to see 20 percent growth per annum in outbound real estate investment in the next decade, up from $11.5 billion last year, property agent Savills has forecast, while some industry watchers said more than 20 developers are expected to go abroad in the next two years.
Vanke said this week it had received long-awaited regulatory approval to convert its Shenzhen-listed B shares to Hong Kong-listed H shares, in a move that will allow it to tap a bigger pool of investors to raise capital.
($1 = 6.1462 Chinese yuan)
Additional reporting by Yimou Lee; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Matt Driskill