CHINESE billionaire developer Wang Jianlin has met Queensland and Australian authorities before a series of proposed multi-million-dollar property deals in southeast Queensland.
The chairman of Dalian Wanda Group visited the Gold Coast for two days last week and also met federal Trade Minister Andrew Robb in Canberra for investment talks.
Representatives for the group — a $US62.8 billion ($66.86bn) company with interests in commercial property, hotels, tourism and shopping centres, according to its website — have visited the Gold Coast twice this month. China’s largest property owner, it has plans to be the world’s biggest hotel chain in five years under its Wanda Hotels & Resorts arm.
Since developing scores of Wanda Plaza Malls in China, the company has set its sights on international acquisitions.
In 2012 it bought US cinema chain AMC for $2.6bn including debt and last year bought Sunseeker yachts in England, with plans for two high-rise towers in London. It has also been actively buying luxury hotels in Europe. Gold Coast-based international agent Roland Evans, director of Canford Property Group, is working with Mr Wang.
He said the Wanda Group was potentially looking at both hotel and commercial sites on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and possibly Sydney.
“They are doing that with some major acquisitions internationally,” he said.
“They’re now viewing Australia as their next destination.”
He said Wanda Group was not seeking to enter joint ventures with any proponents currently seeking to develop casino resorts in Queensland.
Mr Evans said government officials were “watching closely” but were supportive of the confidential arrangements.
“This will be a multitude of investments,” he said.
Separately, Chinese groups are also scouring the market for commercial properties in Sydney.
Invesco helped China’s sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corporation, buy a $305m complex in Sydney last year.
Foreign investment into Australian residential real estate is currently being scrutinised by a parliamentary inquiry.