SINGAPORE, March 31 (Reuters) - Country Garden Holdings Co
Ltd is looking to attract homebuyers from Southeast
Asia, India and the Middle East for its $100 billion Forest City
project in Malaysia, hoping to reduce its reliance on China amid
Beijing's capital controls.
The mixed-use development, which will include office towers,
malls and schools, is the most high-profile project in
Malaysia's ambitious Iskandar special economic zone and is being
built over 20 years on four man-made islands covering 14 square
The project has sold thousands of apartments so far, with
Chinese accounting for 70 percent of the buyers.
Forest City wants to diversify its client base, as Beijing
looks to tighten its grip on funds moving out of the country
after the yuan plummeted to more than eight-year lows.
"The capital controls will have an impact on Forest City,"
Yu Runze, chief strategy officer of Country Garden Pacificview,
said in a email to Reuters, adding it was an "opportunity to
shift our sales strategy to be more international."
He said the company will recruit local staff in the targeted
markets and increase its advertising budget there.
Country Garden said this month it had shut some mainland
China sales centres promoting the project for renovations amid
the capital controls.
For 2017, the developer aims to attract companies in the
tourism, education and healthcare sectors to set up shop in
Forest City, Yu said.
He expects to sign memorandums of understanding with about
30-40 companies from these sectors in July and another 30-40
companies by December.
(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Randy Fabi)