China, HK Real Estate Markets to Thrive: Pro
Writer for CNBC.com
Real estate markets in China and Hong Kong are going to thrive, said the CEO of Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust, Cindy Chow, amid heightened investor concern over a bubble forming in these two markets.
"If you look at the Hong Kong and China [property] markets, we are still very positive about growth. We are seeing strong consumerism and strong take-up in office use," said Chow.
Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust has one retail mall in Hong Kong - Festival Walk - as well as an office building in Beijing in its portfolio.
The Mapletree REIT or Real Estate Investment Trust, which is backed by Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings, made its debut on the Singapore Exchange on Thursday, raising $1.3 billion in the exchange's largest initial public offering (IPO) by a REIT to date.
The Mapletree REIT closed Thursday's trading session 10.8 percent above its IPO price.
Investors have been fretting over the state of China's property market in recent weeks following the government's move to clampdown on the sector last Friday.
(Read More: Why China's Property Market Is Getting Scary)
In some Chinese cities prices have increased 10-fold, driving the average home buyer out of the market and stoking fears of the re-emergence of a bubble.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong, which is one of the world's priciest property markets, also introduced cooling measures late last year.
But Mapletree's Chow quashed these concerns by saying investing in REITs should be viewed as a long-term investment resilient from shocks to the economy.
"The REIT product is a long-term play. Of course it is subject to changes in the market...despite the two global downturns we have seen... we have not seen a drop in performance, we have still seen stable and steady growth in retail sales and rental performance," said Chow.