Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPEL) announced yesterday it had completed a HK$370 million ($47.74 million) investment in Greentown China Holdings, a leading property developer in China. This marks SCPELÆs second investment in the China real estate sector this year following the Shimao Property Holdings transaction and is indicative of the growing interest of financial investors in real estate in China.

Greentown is headquartered in Hangzhou and develops property in the Yangtze River Delta, particularly Zhejiang. It has grown to a national player with operations across first and second tier cities in China. The Greentown brand has become well known across the country.

On the occasion Karam Butalia, Global Head, SCPEL comments: ôWith the rapid growth of the economy
over the last decade, ChinaÆs urban population grew from 340 million in 1994 to 540 million in 2004, and disposable per capita income has increased significantly. As a long term investor with strong commitments to China, we continue to hold positive views on the Chinese property sector.ö Butalia also referred favourably to measures introduced recently in China "aimed at rationalising the market and improving the regulatory structure".

Fan Chen, Managing Director and Head of Greater China, SCPEL who led this transaction said ôthis investment reflects SCPEL Greater China teamÆs significant experience in and deep understanding of the China market and its real estate sector.ö

Standard Chartered derives a substantial 95% of its profits from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. SCPEL is the private equity arm of Standard Chartered Bank and invests in companies in Greater China, India, Korea and Southeast Asia. In China other recent non-property investments include auto sector player, Dongfeng Motors and Beifa group, a supplier to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.