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CPPIB, Longfor to invest in mainland China rental housing

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto, and Longfor Group Holdings will invest more than $800 million in rental housing programs on mainland China.

The "new cooperation" — C$356.1 billion ($270 billion) CPPIB and Beijing-based property developer Longfor's third joint effort since 2015 — will "invest in China across Tier 1 and core Tier II cities via developments, acquisition and master lease of commercial assets to be converted into rental housing," said joint news release Thursday.

For their first two investment projects, CPPIB and Longfor collaborated on investments in mixed-use developments on the mainland.

Jimmy Phua, CPPIB's Hong Kong-based managing director, head of real estate investments Asia, said in the news release that CPPIB's first dedicated rental housing investments in China would allow CPPIB to participate in a fast-growing segment of that country's real estate market.

Mr. Phua couldn't be reached for further comment. A spokesman for Longfor didn't respond to an emailed request for comment.

A U.K.-based CPPIB spokesman couldn't immediately provide details on the investment vehicle CPPIB and Longfor would employ to pursue their rental housing investments, or the split between the two for their initial investment target of $817 million.