SINGAPORE, March 10 (Reuters) - Country Garden Holdings Co
Ltd said on Friday it has shut some China showrooms
that promote its Malaysian Forest City development to adapt to
stricter foreign exchange policies and as it looks to diversify
its sales strategy for the project.
The developer has sold thousands of apartments in its
massive Forest City project in Malaysia's ambitious Iskandar
special economic zone, with Chinese nationals accounting for 70
percent of the buyers.
The closures comes as China tightens its grip on moving
funds out of the country as the yuan plumbed more than
eight-year lows. The tighter rules have created extra challenges
for firms or deals relying on Chinese investment.
Country Garden said in a statement on Friday it was
overhauling its mainland Chinese sales centres "to better fit
with current foreign exchange policies and regulations" and as
the firm looked to diversify its development strategy.
"Country Garden Group resolutely abides by relevant foreign
exchange related rules and actively adapts it overseas
development strategy to adapt to a constantly changing national
and international policy and legal environment," it said.
The firm added that the current foreign exchange controls
were "necessary", but that they could not continue forever.
Among stricter measures in China, banks now require
customers purchasing foreign currency to specify how they will
use the funds and have been reminding individuals about
restrictions on overseas property investment.
Economists expect forceful policing of capital controls this
year, though China's financial system is notoriously porous,
with speculators often able to find new ways to get money out.
Yu Runze, the chief strategy officer for the development,
told Reuters last month that the project was seeking to decrease
its reliance on Chinese buyers, and expand efforts in other
countries, including in the Middle East, India and Indonesia.
(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan and Adam Jourdan; Editing by