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Submitted by Gao Xu on
Thanks for the good question. Regarding the recent price surge in China’s property market, I think the role played by the SOEs is overly exaggerated by the media. It is true that some SOEs, armed with big money borrowed from banks, are purchasing land at astonishing high prices. For example, Franshion Properties, a subsidiary of the Sinochem Group (a Chinese SOE ranked 170th in the Fortune Global 500 list) and a mere nobody in the real estate sector not long ago, won in an eye-catching land auction in mid 2009, beating other property giants. But the share of SOEs in the real estate sector is very small, less than 10 percent measured by any criteria. As this sector is clearly dominated by non-SOEs, it is fair to say that the impact of SOEs on the land price is marginal. However, on the general asset price appreciation in the economy, it is hard to quantify the impact of SOEs, though they are clearly direct beneficiaries of the current credit boom. I’ll touch this topic in my future post about the leverage of SOEs.