[photopress:Huang_Guangyu_1.jpg,full,alignright]Huang Guangyu, said to be the richest man in China and owner of Gome (China’s biggest retailer with 850 outlets in 200 cities), has formed an US$500 million real estate fund this month with Bear Stearns to buy retail property in China. Each of the two partners put up half the investment. Gome has the retail experience. Bear Stearns effectively none.
Meanwhile, Huang Guangyu’s closely held Eagle Property Investments Group formed a US$800 million real estate fund this month with Singapore’s Pacific Star to buy property in China. The real estate fund aims to develop up to two million cubic meters of residential and commercial property every year in the next three to four years. The Eagle Property fund will be kept separate from Huang Guangyu’s stake in Beijing Centergate Technologies which invests in technology parks and industrial areas.
Huang, a peasant’s son and a school drop-out at 16, acted as a middleman selling radios, batteries and other small electrical goods, before setting up Gome in 1987. He runs the company with his wife, Du Juan, 36, a former loan officer at Bank of China, the country’s second-biggest lender.
Huang has also built an unlisted property empire, including 50% of Beijing’s 32-story Eagle Plaza, where he works.