From the end of 2014 through the first half of 2015, China’s share market soared, attracting large numbers of investors and a rapid expansion of investment capital. This very feast of capital market activity
This article continues to discuss Risk Management for China’s Real Estate Pooled Investment Funds. The first part of this article was published on Chinalawinsight on December 2011.
B. Inherent Risks of Real Estate Trust Products
Inherent risks are closely related to the characteristics of real estate trust products and thus ingrained in such products as follows:
a. Real estate pooled funds generate returns through specific assets
Real estate pooled funds generate and distribute returns by structuring the priority of beneficial interests: according to the financing agreement between trust companies and real estate developers, trust companies raise funds from the public for specific acquisition projects and guarantee investors’ beneficial interests as a priority payment. The parent companies or actual controllers (usually real estate developers) of the specific acquisition project transfer shares to the trust companies to gain secondary beneficial interests. Therefore, real estate developer’s interests are bound to the priority interests of investors and trust companies distribute returns to beneficiaries in a particular order.…
A real estate pooled investment fund ("RE Pooled Fund") is where trust companies raise funds from investors (who act as both "settlors" and "beneficiaries" in the trust) and work with real estate developers to provide beneficiaries with profits in return. RE Pooled Funds generate returns through specific assets, equity investments, loans, or a hybrid thereof.
With housing purchase restrictions being implemented in China’s major cities, real estate developers working with trust companies are facing serious cash flow pressure and some of them have even experienced operating difficulties. When real estate developers are unable to provide trust companies with high investment returns on schedule, and investors continue to hold expectations of high returns regardless of investment risk, trust companies are inclined to pay investors at their own expense and solve investment return problems with real estate developers internally rather than disclose investment risk to the investors. This is partly because trust companies value their reputation and the reputation of their investment products and want to avoid upsetting trustees and commercial banks who engage in selling the trust company’s products. Trust companies may also be concerned about the potential for class-action lawsuits by investors. However, such trust companies may one day be unable or unwilling to pay investors out of their own pockets, or investors may no longer be satisfied with being paid investment returns, leading to a very unsustainable situation.…