Top 200 and third time on Fortune Global 500 list for Country Garden

Of the companies listed, Country Garden makes the biggest improvement taking the 177th position from the 353rd spot.

This component of Forest City, comprising the Forest City Pheonix Hotel, the mall and residential towers, are up and running.

This component of Forest City, comprising the Forest City Pheonix Hotel, the mall and residential towers, are up and running.

Chinese property developer Country Garden has not only managed to remain on the list of the sought-after Fortune Global 500 list for the third consecutive year but has broken into the ranks to become one of the top 200 companies. The company moves up to the 177th position on the 2019 list, up 176 rungs from last year as well as the biggest upward move for any single company on the list. 

When Country Garden first appeared in the Fortune Global 500 list in 2017, it was in the 467th position but moved up to 353rd spot in 2018. This is a testament to the fast improvements in Country Garden’s strength and size. In Malaysia, the property developer has three existing and on-going projects, namely the US$100bil (RM417.77bil) Forest City and RM18bil DangCountry Garden a Bay, both in Johor Baru, Johor as well as the RM1.8bil Country Garden Diamond City in Semenyih, Selangor. The dazzling speed of which Country Garden properties have emerged into being is no less than incredible especially by Malaysian standards.

Founded by former bricklayer Yang Guoqiang in 1992, the developer first appeared on the scene in 2013 with their Country Garden Danga Bay project which consists of a shopping mall, retail lots and over 9,000 units of high-rise residences. The developer also offered the very first Spanish-style inspired villa township with a total of 450 Spanishstyle units sprawled across 257 acres in their Country Garden Diamond City.

But the eye-popping project that fires the imagination is the creation of four islands between Johor and Singapore. Sprawled over 1,386ha, Forest City is a joint development between Hong Kong-listed Country Garden Holdings and Johor’s Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd, via joint venture vehicle Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd (CGPV). With Forest City, their dazzling pace of simultaneously reclaiming and building 26,000 apartment units in four years is testimonial to their reputation as China’s top property developer.

Not surprisingly, Country Garden posted revenue of US$57.31bil (RM239.42 bil), representing a year on year rise of 70.7%. It maintained strong growth in both revenue and profit for 2018. According to the financial statement for 2018, the company’s contracted sales jumped 31.25% year-on-year to 501.88 billion yuan (RM296.1bil), while revenue advanced 67.1% to 379.08 billion yuan.

An aerial view of the completed towers on part of the first reclaimed island of Forest City.

An aerial view of the completed towers on part of the first reclaimed island of Forest City.

Net profit clocked in at 48.54 billion yuan, up 68.8%, while profit attributable to shareholders stood at 34.62 billion yuan, up 32.8%. The leading Chinese property developer recorded sales of 412.48 billion yuan for the first half of 2019, maintaining strong growth momentum.

In early 2019, with real estate, modern agriculture and robotics identified as three core businesses, the company announced new plans to become a high-tech comprehensive provider of lifestyle solutions for a better world catering to changing market demands and development trends.

Interestingly, Chinese companies dominated the list, with 129 of them claiming a place on the list, outnumbering their American counterparts with their total of 121 entries. Sinopec, PetroChina and State Grid Corporation of China were the top three Chinese performers, demonstrating that despite a sluggish global economy, China has maintained stable growth, bolstered by the outstanding achievements of China-based firms.

Despite the downturn in the overall Chinese real estate market in the second half of last year and a series of policies put in place by the Chinese government meant to put a brake on the market, Chinese property developers posted outstanding financial results. Five Chinese real estate firms took their places on the list, unchanged year on year, with two companies among the top 200 for the first time.

The 2019 edition of the Fortune Global 500 list was officially released on July 22, with Wal-Mart, Sinopec, and Shell Oil Company owning the top three spots. The Fortune Global 500 companies in the aggregate recorded total operating revenue of US$32.7 trillion, up 8.9% year-on-year, while their profit reached a new high at US$2.15 trillion, up 14.5%. The net profit margin climbed to 6.6%, while the return on net assets advanced to 12.1%.

A proven authority in terms of global company rankings based on operating revenue, the Fortune Global 500 rankings indicate the latest development trends among the world’s largest companies. Country Garden has become one of the constituents of FTSE China 50 Index, Hang Seng China 25 Index and MSCI Global Standard Indices.

The firm has also been included in Hang Seng Composite Index, Hang Seng Mainland 100 and Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, demonstrating that the firm’s growth in corporate size, strong profitability and promising growth potential have been recognized by institutional investors. The property developer is rated ‘BBB-’ by Fitch, ‘BB+’ by S & P and ‘Ba1’ by Moody’s (stable outlook), all of which is strong evidence that the three international authoritative credit rating agencies have confidence in the company’s future.