Would the reputation and behaviour of the Chinese stock exchange be a disincentive to investors considering a Chinese REIT?


China has drawn the world’s attention with the emergence, rapid growth and increasing maturity of its real estate market in the past twenty years. Currently the world’s third largest economy, China was the second largest Asian country for commercial property transaction capital flows in 2006 (JLL, 2007). International investors have recently shown considerable interest regarding property investment in China, via both direct and indirect property and changes to the rules governing internal funds are likely to initiate high levels of effective demand from domestic institutions too. China is yet to develop a Real Estate Investment trust (REIT) market; despite this investment demand encouragement for development of pilot REITs by the PRC government has waxed and waned with political imperatives to manage market and economic volatility. Chinese REITs would theoretically provide the opportunity for investors to access Chinese “property” returns with liquidity and flexibility and might further play a significant role in stabilising the Chinese capital market in the medium and long term. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether the reputation and behaviour of the Chinese stock exchanges is a disincentive to investors considering a Chinese REIT. This is addressed firstly by assessing Chinese stock market volatility compared to that of the Hong Kong and Singapore stock exchanges. Secondly, a survey was used to explore Chinese domestic investors’ attitudes to investment in Chinese property REITs and their preferences amongst the three main Asian stock exchanges where Chinese REITs might potentially be available

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