[photopress:Alexander_Baring.jpg,full,alignright]The strangely named ING Real Estate has joined up with Gemdale to develop a property project in Foshan in Guangdong province.
ING once stood for Internationale Nederlanden Groep (the full name was dropped because only the Dutch could pronounce it) and it is the company that took over Barings Bank in London after it had been pushed to the wall by one of its traders in Singapore. In the 2006 Forbes Global 2000, ING was the eleventh-largest company in the world.
However, ING has not been without its problems and has been accused in recent years, and fined, for improper behavior. It was also the company that took over Barings Bank after the collapse.
Barings collapsed on February 26, 1995, due to the activities of one trader, Nick Leeson who lost US$1.4 billion by speculating on the Singapore International Monetary Exchange primarily using futures contracts. (This writer had been employed by Barings and its control systems were, politely, high farce. Alexander Baring, one of the early founders of the company, pictured above, would have sorted it out double smart. No doubt hanging and boiling oil would have been involved. Possibly beheading as well.)
Barings was purchased by ING after its collapse by ING for £1. ING also assumed all of Barings liabilities.
In a statement filed with Shanghai stock exchange, the company said ING Real Estate will invest US$40.62 million to take a 49% equity interest in the residential and commercial project with Gemdale holding 51%.
The project covers an area of 110,216 square meters. Floor area will be up to 220,432 square meters. In August, Gemdale and ING Real Estate also agreed to invest RMB325 million to jointly develop a property in Tianjin.
ING Real Estate in December raised US$350 million in China to fund medium-cost housing in first and second tier cities. ING Real Estate, with a total business portfolio of US$100 billion worldwide, in December raised US$350 million for residential development in China. The China fund also has joint venture projects with domestic developers such as Shanghai Forte Land and Raycom International.