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China Property on Rebound Despite Price Controls

Chinese companies listed overseas should see eventual wins, after a rough period of government controls, unless their fundamentals fall off a scaffold somewhere.

In Xi'an, the central Chinese city's biggest property developer, U.S.-listed China Housing and Land Development (CHLN), is working on an 18-acre compound with more than 2,100 apartments. That just happens to be its latest project.

Real estate agent and consultant E-house China Holdings (EJ) of Shanghai should naturally see business grow in sync with number of property sales. It's a robust company today after merging in 2009 with the online real estate business of giant Chinese Internet content provider Sina Corp. (SINA). Then this year it acquired online property service provider China Real Estate Information Corporation, or CRIC.

China Housing and Land Development and E-House China Holdings have seen share prices hover near financial crisis levels despite jumps of 500% to 600% in mid-2009. E-House dropped a clue as to why in a statement last year, saying government price-check controls had hurt business.

"Without the harsh purchasing policies and tightened lending control, I truly believe the price growth for China should have been much higher," Xie speculates.

For now, buy stocks in lofty foreign companies with China projects but keep an eye on the big Chinese names to see if their share prices start climbing.

At the time of publication the author had no position in the companies mentioned and owns no property in China.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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