China’s Everbright, Huazhu Group Jointly Launch New Residential Real Estate Fund

Chinese multi-brand hotel group Huazhu Group announced on Thursday that it has joined hands with Everbright Ashmore Investment (EBA Investment), the real estate asset management platform of China Everbright Limited, to set up a residential real estate investment fund.

The fund, dubbed "Anzhu Cijian" that means "reside here in peace and contentment" in Chinese, will seek investment opportunities in the Chinese residential real estates like hotels and apartments, said the two companies cited by tourism-focused online news portal TravelDaily China. The fund will acquire and refurbish real estates, and then operate the portfolio property under the "Huazhu" brand.

The first portfolio of the fund, Shanghai Pudong Minya Hotel, will be put into operation in the second half of 2019.

"Anzhu Cijian’s job as an asset manager is to improve the hotel’s average sales per unit area through transformation and refurbishment," said Ye Fei, vice president of Huazhu Group. She said the average occupancy rate of Huazhu hotels reached 87% in 2018, and the revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased by 10% compared to 2017.

Huazhu Group, founded in 2005, has 18 brands with over 4,400 hotels in more than 400 cities across China. It operates hotels under several brands including Hi Inn, HanTing Hotel, Elan Hotel, Orange Hotel, HanTing Premium, Starway Hotel, and Orange Hotel Select.

EBA Investments is a cross-border real estate asset management firm focused on the Chinese real estate market. The company has 40 real estate projects under management, which worth about RMB50 billion (US$7.33 billion) in total as of June 2018, according to the company’s website.

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