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Chinese Residential Behemoth Makes £400M London Debut

Bow Creeek, East London

Country Garden, the world’s largest homebuilder, has made its long-awaited U.K. debut with the purchase of a scheme in East London with an end value of £400M.

The China-based, Hong Kong-listed giant led a consortium which has bought Ailsa Wharf on Bow Creek from Lindhill and Galliard, according to Estates Gazette. The scheme comprises 785 units.

Country Garden has been weighing entering the U.K. since 2016, and signed a memorandum of understanding with Birmingham City Council to invest in the city, but has chosen London for its debut.

Last year it achieved contracted sales of £62B, more than 20 times the figure for Barratt, the U.K.’s largest homebuilder, Estates Gazette said. It has almost 1,500 projects on the go in China.

There has been a sharp reduction in Chinese outbound investment in real estate, but companies like Country Garden which have listings outside of the mainland have been freer to deploy capital around the world.

“In the current political climate of uncertainty, with so many unknowns around Brexit and the international trade issues being raised for China by the U.S., it is a ringing endorsement for the U.K. to have Country Garden make a significant investment,” Galliard Chief Executive Donagh O’Sullivan said.