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Carlyle's stake aims to ride on retail malls
Aggregated Source: Shanghai Daily: Business

CARLYLE Group LP, the world's second-largest manager of alternative assets, has bought a minority stake in two Chinese shopping malls, seeking to tap a retail property boom spurred by rising domestic consumption.

A company advised by Carlyle's Asia real estate group bought a 49 percent stake in Suzhou In-City Mall and Hangzhou Gudun In-City Mall in east China, both owned and operated by SZITIC Commercial Property Co, according to an e-mailed statement. The financial terms were not disclosed.

China's retail sales climbed 12.8 percent in April over a year earlier, recovering from the 12.6 percent pace a month earlier as the government vowed to improve the quality and efficiency of economic growth.

"Rising household disposable income, continuing urbanization, changing demographics and government initiatives to promote domestic consumption will continue to benefit China's retail sector," Jason Lee, head of Carlyle Asia Real Estate, said in the statement.

Those factors will support growth in both rent and capital value for well-operated retail properties, he added. Through the acquisition, Carlyle entered a strategic tie-up with SZITIC Commercial Property, based in Shenzhen, the statement said.

Carlyle Asia Real Estate, set up in 2001, has invested more than US$2.1 billion of equity in Asia.

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