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China – FIREE Recordals Tracker: October 2014 Update.

17 November, 2014

Since May 2007, any injection of foreign capital in foreign-invested real estate enterprises (FIREEs) must be recorded with the PRC Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM). These “FIREE recordals” provide a useful perspective on the trend and pace of new foreign capital inflow into the China real estate sector. However, the FIREE recordal statistics do not disclose the actual amount of foreign capital involved in each transaction.

 
Baker & McKenzie has been tracking FIREE recordals announced by MOFCOM since May 2007. Set out below are some FIREE recordal statistics and data current up to the end of October 2014. In summary:

 

  • The total number of FIREE recordals in October 2014 was 26, down from 48 in September 2014.
  • The total number of FIREE recordals in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 were 1,051, 991, 1,094, 767, 759 and 763 respectively.
  • Since May 2007, cumulatively, there have been 7,710 FIREE recordals up to the end of October 2014. This includes 3,325 cases of new project operating entities being established, 3,605 cases of (capital increase or M&A transactions (involving capital increase related to existing project operating entities, and 403 cases of M&A transactions which do not involve any capital increase.

 
1. Types Of FIREE Recordals In Aug 2014, Sep 2014 And Oct 2014 Respectively.

 

  Aug 2014 Sep 2014 Oct 2014
Establishment of new entities: 17 17 7
Capital increase/M&A (involving capital increase): 30 22 11
M&A (no capital increase): 4 5 7
Miscellaneous recordals: 4 4 1
Total: 55 48 26

 

 

 2. FIREE Recordals In Oct 2014

 

 

Types of Recordals Cities Number of Recordals
Establishment of new entities Chongqing 3
Changchun 1
Qingdao 1
Shanghai 1
Shenzhen 1
Total 7
Capital increase/M&A (involving capital increase)

 

Chengdu 3
Zhongshan 2
Chongqing 1
Huaihua 1
Shenzhen 1
Tieling 1
Wuxi 1
Zhangjiakou 1
Total 11
M&A (no capital increase) Shanghai 4
Tianjin 2
Langfang 1
Total 7
Miscellaneous Guangzhou 1
Total 1

 

3. FIREE Recordals: Monthly From 1 Jan 2010 To 31 Oct 2014:

 

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bakercharta

 

 

4. Cities With The Highest Number Of FIREE Recordals From May 2007 To Oct 2014:

 

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bakerchartb

 

 

5. Types Of FIREE recordals From May 2007 To Oct 2014:

 

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bakerchartc

 

About The FIREE Recordal Regime

 
The regulatory regime for recording foreign-invested real estate enterprises was first established in May 2007 by MOFCOM and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE). This “FIREE recordal” regime was part of a scheme of regulatory measures introduced between 2006 to 2007 to monitor and control foreign investment in the real estate sector at a time when the central government considered the real estate sector to be overheated. This regime controls all types of foreign capital inflow being injected into the real estate sector for purposes such as the setting up of new entities, capital increases and mergers & acquisitions. Foreign capital flowing into China cannot be converted into Renminbi (China’s legal currency) unless and until the “FIREE recordal” process has been completed with MOFCOM and SAFE.

 
Since July 2008, the provincial-level commerce authorities have been charged with the primary responsibility of vetting the legal compliance of FIREE-related transactions. MOFCOM reserves the right to conduct random checks on the recordals filed by the provincial-level commerce authorities. Generally, within one to two weeks of receiving an electronic submission from a provincial-level commerce authority, MOFCOM will release the new FIREE recordal on its public website. Only then can the local bureau of SAFE and the local commercial bank credit the foreign currency funds into the accounts of the transaction parties concerned. In December 2008, MOFCOM further simplified the local recordal procedures such that the general office of the provincial government is no longer required to jointly endorse the recordal form with the provincial-level commerce authority.

 
Pursuant to Notice 340 issued by MOFCOM, starting from August 2014 provincial-level commerce authorities are authorized to complete the FIREE recordal process for companies located in their respective regions. MOFCOM will continue to consolidate all the new FIREE recordals on a nation-wide basis and publish such data on its official website. MOFCOM will also conduct random checks on the recordals submitted and the local authorities and parties involved, and non-compliance will lead to sanction and black-listing of the violators.

 

Baker McKenzie

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Rico Chan, Partner, Baker & McKenzie

[email protected]

 

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