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    Chinese property tycoon to sell stake as share sales ramp up

    ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – The billionaire owner of Country Garden Holdings is selling a stake in a unit to raise about USD650 million amid a flurry of share sales by cash-strapped Chinese developers.

    Yang Huiyan agreed to sell 237 million shares of Country Garden Services Holdings at HKD21.33 each, according to a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Sunday. That represents a 10.9 per cent discount on the latest closing price.

    Yang is co-chairman of Country Garden, the real estate giant founded by her father, and chairman of its property management spin-off Country Garden Services. Bloomberg reported the sale plans last week. The 41-year-old has an estimated net worth of USD12.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

    Country Garden has tapped the Hong Kong equity market twice in the past month, raising more than USD1 billion to shore up finances that have been hurt by an unprecedented housing slump. Chinese developer shares have soared in recent weeks as the authorities unwound a clampdown on leverage by encouraging fund raising through bond and stock sales, as well as bank loans.

    “The share sale of Country Garden Services will boost bond investor sentiment,” said senior credit analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence Daniel Fan. He said the chairman could lend part of the proceeds to Country Garden Holdings for debt servicing, or use it to buy back bonds in market.

    Some of Country Garden’s dollar bonds were indicated as much as one cent higher yesterday morning, according to Bloomberg-compiled prices.

    Yang Huiyan agreed to sell 237 million shares of Country Garden Services Holdings at HKD21.33 each. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES
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