July 31, 2014 / 3:40 AM / in 3 years

China's Qianhai zone to auction more land in August

HONG KONG, July 31 (Reuters) - A pilot economic zone in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen is to auction four parcels of land next month, the second auction this year, to draw more e-commerce and trade-related companies to the hub.

Focused on finance, logistics and IT services, the Qianhai Bay economic zone is an hour by car from Hong Kong and hopes to draw on its expertise as a hub for the renminbi, or offshore yuan, as it seeks to provide the same services in renminbi, bond and equity offerings, insurance products and trade settlement.

The Qianhai zone authority said late on Wednesday it planned to auction around 200,000 square metres of land for a total 3.25 billion yuan ($526 million) on Aug. 29.

Bidders for the land have to be companies with assets or revenue over 5 billion yuan last year and involved in supply chain management, e-commerce, product development and design or trading, the authority said in a statement.

At the last land sale in May, it auctioned four sites totalling 582,000 square metres to IT-related and private equity bidders. Tencent Holdings Ltd and Hony Capital (Beijing) Co won the bids, with the pilot project looking for high-profile names to attract more investment.

Despite being touted as a “mini Hong Kong” financial and yuan hub, Qianhai has struggled to attract interest from Hong Kong and overseas property developers in a series of land auctions.

Some 10,385 companies had set up office in Qianhai as of July 20 with registration capital totalling 620.6 billion yuan, according to local reports. Among them are 451 Hong Kong companies. ($1 = 6.1732 Chinese Yuan) (Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Alan Raybould)

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