Country Garden closes showrooms in mainland China

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Property developer Country Garden has closed showrooms in mainland China for a flagship $100bn housing project in southern Malaysia, following measures by Chinese regulators which have made it harder for individuals to move money out of the country.

Forest City, a township being built on reclaimed land at the southern tip of Malaysia, is heavily reliant on mainland Chinese, who are about 70 per cent of buyers so far.

Capital controls have made it harder for Chinese companies, individuals and foreign investors to move money out of the country.

The measures have delayed or even halted cross-border deals. Dalian Wanda, the Chinese real estate and entertainment conglomerate, is struggling to complete a $1bn deal to buy Dick Clark Productions, the company behind the Golden Globe Awards.

Forest City is a major project for the Hong Kong-listed developer, which anticipates that it will house 700,000 people when it is completed in two decades’ time. The project is a joint venture between Country Garden and a company controlled by the Sultan of Johor.

Country Garden is seeking to broaden its customer base for Forest City, opening an office in Dubai last year in an effort to attract Middle Eastern buyers.

A spokeswoman for the company said the showroom closure was temporary, and a statement would be made later on Friday. The move was first reported by the South China Morning Post.

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