Comeback kid keeps things simple

Updated: 2014-02-13 08:27

By Hu Yuanyuan (China Daily)

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Comeback kid keeps things simple

Reporters paying close attention to a land parcel bidding in Beijing. Sunac China Holdings Ltd is one of the most aggressive acquirers of property in China. Provided to China Daily  

Developer concentrates work on high-end properties in key cities

The life experiences of Sun Hongbin, chairman of Tianjin-based property developer Sunac China Holdings Ltd, present a perfect example of a motivational drama.

The 50-year-old businessman is well known for his remarkable entrepreneurial acumen and his unusual comeback tale.

Having graduated from Tsinghua University, Beijing, Sun became an executive at Lenovo Group and was once regarded as the successor of Liu Chuanzhi, founder and leader of the global IT giant. However, any hopes he held in that direction were firmly flattened when he was sentenced to five years in prison on embezzlement charges. After he was released in 1994, he appealed against his conviction and was cleared of the charges in 2003.

In 1995, Sun set up a real estate business called Sunco Co Ltd. The company rapidly emerged as a rising star in the industry. However, because of fast expansion and a squeezed cash flow, Sun finally sold the company to RK Properties Inc in 2006. Later on, he focused on another real estate company, Sunac China Holding Ltd, and turned it into the country's 11th largest property developer in terms of sales value last year.

People hold different views about his comeback. Some put it down to Sun's ambition and persistence.

In the eyes of Wang Hongbin, chairman of Sunac-Greentown Holding Co Ltd and also Sun's business partner, Sun is a very hard-working businessman with a strong business acumen.

"It may take him a long time to make a big decision but once he makes it, it will be implemented forcefully. He is willing to accept the result whether it is a success or a failure."

Land king

The thing that troubles him most, Sun said, is that investors don't always understand his approach in acquiring quality land parcels. The share price of Sunac, for instance, always drops after he snaps up a promising piece of land.

"Later on I looked at it this way: If all the investors could understand my way of business, how could I make money?" he asked.

Sunac was among the most aggressive acquirers of property in China in 2013. Last September, the company successfully bid for a plot of land in Beijing for a total cost of 4.3 billion yuan ($694 million), with average parts of it hovering around the 73,100 yuan per square meter mark - a record high in the history of land auctions in the capital.

Meanwhile, Sunac spent 1.04 billion yuan snapping up a 10,239 sq m site in Shanghai's Hongkou district through its joint venture Sunac-Greentown. The final bidding price was 49 percent higher than the starting offer. The joint venture also purchased an 110,726 sq m site in Shanghai's Huangpu district for 7.996 billion yuan from another developer.

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