February 2, 2018 / 11:09 AM / in 18 days

Bank of China pledges $32 bln in funding to spur rental housing market

BEIJING, Feb 2 (Reuters) - China’s fourth-biggest bank pledged on Friday to provide eight property firms, including Vanke and Country Garden, with at least 200 billion yuan ($31.84 billion) in response to a government-led push to increase the supply of rental housing.

China’s real estate market, dominated by build-to-sell properties, has boomed over the past two years, prompting authorities to tighten control in more than 100 cities to clamp down on speculative buying.

Soaring prices, particularly in the biggest cities, have also raised concerns that many people are now priced out of the market.

Bank of China said its funding plan was in response to calls from China’s top leaders who have said they want to ensure “houses are built for living in, not for speculation”, the bank said in a release posted on its website.

The funding will be used to develop new rental housing projects, as well as converting existing commercial projects including offices into rental homes, it said.

The other six property developers that will receive funding from the bank include China Overseas Land, China Resources Land, China Merchants Property, Poly Real Estate Group, Longfor Properties, and Greentown China Holdings.

$1 = 6.2820 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Yawen Chen, Shu Zhang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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