Dalian Wanda raises $1b in first attempt at crowdfunding

HONG KONG - Dalian Wanda Group, China's largest commercial property developer, said it raised 5 billion yuan (S$1 billion) last week from investors online and will also use crowdfunding to refinance another 5 billion yuan in two weeks.

Major Chinese real estate developers have started turning to Internet financing as they face difficulties in securing loans from traditional sources such as money trusts.

The fundraising took place over three days last week and will go towards the construction of five shopping malls. It secured 500 million yuan from individual investors, while the rest came from institutions, the company said.

The parent company of Hong Kong-listed Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties said last week that investors would gain annualised returns of 12 percent. The minimum investment threshold for the product is only 1,000 yuan.

Trust firms, which pool money from rich individuals and companies to make high-interest loans, are less keen on lending to developers amid a slowing property market and are themselves coming under greater scrutiny from anxious regulators.

Dalian Wanda Group chairman Wang Jianlin, China's richest man according to Forbes, has said the company will follow an"asset-light" strategy for its growth, seeking outside investment to finance its malls and selling them off after five or seven years.

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