Business

ERA Realty set to enter Chinese market


Singapore's largest real estate agency, ERA Realty, has its sights set on the Chinese market and a return to the local bourse, said chief executive Jack Chua.

In an interview with The Straits Times yesterday, he said the company aims to enter China by the second half of next year.

"We are working on a plan now. China is a big market - if you want to go in, you must be very careful," he said, adding that the firm is looking for the right partner.

ERA already has a presence in the region, with its strongest franchises in Indonesia and Japan, but it wants to expand to markets such as Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia.

The Singapore-headquartered firm, which holds the franchise for 18 countries in the Asia-Pacific, also has plans to re-list on the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

"Back in 2013, we gave ourselves three to five years to reach this objective. We are progressing on this issue," said Mr Chua.

The listing would enhance the company's image and allow agents to be part-owners if they participate, he said.

ERA was listed on SGX through its holding company Hersing Realty in 1998.

It was delisted in 2013 and sold for about $130 million by former parent Hersing Corp to private equity fund Northstar.

The time could be ripe for ERA to pursue a listing, as it closed more deals and grew its network of agents last year, despite the bearish property market.

SingaporePropertyChina