Shenzhen-based SZITIC Commercial Property Co. told the Wall Street Journal on September 10 that it is planning a $1 billion Hong Kong IPO that could come as early as the end of this year. SZITIC, founded in 2003, has developed 10 shopping malls in Beijing, Hangzhou, Suzhou, and other Chinese cities. In May 2013, the company sold 49 percent stakes in its Hangzhou and Suzhou malls for an undisclosed sum to US private equity firm Carlyle Group LP.
The planned listing comes at a time when the growth of China’s middle class is still spurring investment in Chinese real estate. Despite tightened regulations on home sales, investment in real estate was up 20.5 percent in July 2013, compared to one year earlier, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.