Savills’ investment arm applying to become China-regulated entity

Savills’ investment arm applying to become China-regulated entity

Savills Investment Management, the property investment arm of London-listed, UK-based Savills plc, is applying for Chinese government approval to become a regulated entity in China, as it looks to double its assets under management in Asia.

A company executive in London on Wednesday confirmed a report, out of Hong Kong, that Savills IM was aiming for a regulated presence in the Chinese market, after having opened its first office in the Chinese mainland in Shanghai last year.

“We currently have licences in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, and [in addition to China] have a pending license in Australia,” the spokesperson told International Investment.

In addition to Shanghai, Savills IM also has outposts in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney.

The company’s business has been growing rapidly over the past three years, and during that time, it’s inked a number of joint-venture agreements, including one with China Minsheng Investment Capital, a subsidiary company of China Minsheng Investment Corp, China’s first national-level private investment company. The deal is described as having been the first of its kind between an international real estate investment manager and a private Chinese investment company.

In addition, it has a number of Asian investors in its funds, and has been retained to act on behalf of a number of Asian sovereign wealth funds.

It is understood to be looking to grow its US$20bn of assets under management to US$50bn over the next few years in part by focusing on the Chinese market as well as those of Australia and China, a recent report in the South China Morning Post  noted.

The two markets it invested in most heavily last year, the SCMP noted, were Japan and Australia.

Savills IM was founded 28 years ago, and has some 18 offices globally, staffed by more than 280 people. It specialises in helping people, businesses and entities such as sovereign wealth funds to invest in property.