Takeaways from the Shanghai conference, chaired by Robert Ciemniak

On June 28 in Shanghai, Robert Ciemniak, the Founder-CEO of Real Estate Foresight, chaired the annual ‘PERE Investor Forum: Shanghai’, a gathering of 100 or so players in the private equity real estate sector focused on China. Quite a different market landscape from a year ago. Less outbound and more inbound interest, with much tighter credit conditions and rising financing costs. Some major foreign investors look at it as an opportunity to come in on more attractive terms. Same applies to well capitalised local players. On the other hand, there is growing interest in niche and new sectors, and markets beyond Tier-1 cities. Logistics still hot, people start looking at the nascent rental housing sector and alternatives like healthcare. Quite a bit of talk on co-working and co-living but acknowledging how competitive the Chinese co-working market is. Plenty of room for innovation and disruption across the sectors. Belt and Road, Greater Bay Area, North East (not for the light-hearted) among the hot themes vs concerns on trade wars and deleveraging fallout at a macro level. Need to carefully follow new government policies and announcements coming out on a weekly and daily basis.