China's new restrictions on overseas investment may hurt Australia's property market

China's new restrictions on overseas investment may hurt Australia's property market
China's new restrictions on overseas investment may hurt Australia's property market

The Chinese government has put curbs on purchases of real estate and entertainment assets by Chinese companies and investors, a decision which could affect Australia’s real estate market.

The restrictions follows recent moves by Beijing to halt state banks lending to the Dalian Wanda Group, which has recently been forced to restructure its assets in Australia, namely the $2 billion worth of projects in Sydney and the Gold Coast.

The move to check “irrational" overseas investments aim to curb capital outflows and ease the  downward pressure on the yuan, while also compelling mainland companies to align themselves more closely with Beijing's foreign policy objectives, according to The Australian Financial Review.

The new investment guidelines includes a list of "banned, encouraged and restricted" areas for investment.

Hotels, sporting teams, cinemas and the broader entertainment sector were on the restricted list, while investments in casinos and defence technology were banned.

However, the new guidelines encourage deals in high technology, advanced manufacturing, agriculture, some areas of the service sector and oil and gas.

The State Council said it would encourage companies to invest in the $1 trillion One Belt One Road infrastructure initiative, meant to improve China’s trade ties with Europe, Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East.

In a statement, China’s top economic planning agency, The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), accused some Chinese companies of "blindly" going overseas.

"This has resulted in operational difficulties and caused significant losses," it said.

The agency was also critical of overseas property deals.

"Some companies have put their investment focus on fields that are not necessarily in the 'real economy', such as the property sector," it said.

"While these investments failed to drive economic growth, they led to increased capital outflows, which could negatively impact China's financial stability."

"This will lead to more rational investments ... after a period of crazy acquisitions at any cost,"  Zhang Yansheng, chief economist at the Beijing-based China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, was quoted as saying by the AFR.

"In the short term there will be fluctuation in China's investment in Australia, but I'm sure over the longer term there will be a steady increase."

Beijing has been worried that an acquisition spree by private entrepreneurs in recent years now threatens the stability of its financial system, if loans extended by from state-owned banks turn bad.

Property market Chinese Investment

Community Discussion

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?