Vanke's largest shareholder says it won't meddle in operations

Updated 2017-07-03 10:31:32 Global Times/Agencies

China Vanke Co's largest shareholder, Shenzhen Metro Group, said it would not interfere in the property developer's operations, allaying concerns the company would become less market driven under the control of the State-run firm.

The subway operator's control over China's second largest property developer was affirmed last month after it raised its stake to 29.38 percent, ending a bitter struggle for boardroom control by surpassing financial conglomerate Baoneng Group that had sought to oust Vanke's current management.

Some current and former employees have said that Vanke, since it started talks with Shenzhen Metro last year, has gradually been adopting some practices that pointed to it becoming more like a State firm.

"We will carry out our role as a cornerstone investor," Shenzhen Metro Chairman Lin Maode said at a Vanke shareholder meeting in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province on Friday.

"We'll be a long-term strategic investor and safeguard Vanke's interests."

Lin and two other senior executives from Shenzhen Metro were approved as Vanke's non-executive directors at the meeting. Vanke said it did not receive any director nomination from Baoneng, which still has a 25 percent stake.

Vanke's founder Wang Shi, 66, announced last week he would step down from the board as chairman after the years-long corporate power struggle came to end. Vanke said in a statement posted on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange late on Friday that the company board had elected President Yu Liang, a 28-year Vanke veteran, as new chairman and CEO, while Wang will become emeritus chairman.

Vanke has been stepping up efforts to implement a "railway plus property" strategy in China's Tier 1-2 cities, which involves building properties around railway networks.

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