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Tickers in this Article: TCO, SPG
Taubman Asia, an operational arm of Taubman Centers, Inc. (TCO), recently announced that Taubman TCBL has entered into a joint venture with Beijing Wangfujing Department Store (Group) Co., Ltd. The joint venture will manage and control the first retail development by Taubman TCBL in China. The debut property will be located in Xi'an Saigao City Plaza in Xi'an.

Xi'an, the capital of the Shaanxi province, is a well known cultural, industrial and educational centre of the central-northwest region of China. The city is a pioneer in software industry in China and is also a hub for research and development, national security and space exploration program of China. With a consistent annual per capita GDP growth of over 20% since 2007, the city is one of the rapidly emerging economies of China.

Xi'an Saigao City Plaza, a mixed-use development in Xi'an, is located at the intersection of subway Line 2 and Line 4 of Xingzheng Zhongxin station. It features a high class hotel, a residential tower, two towers of serviced apartments and an office building. The place is also conveniently accessible by major Expressways and airports of the city.

The seven-storey shopping center is to be a part of the retail component at Xi'an Saigao City Plaza. The project is being developed by Shaanxi Fuli Real Estate Development Co. Ltd, which will hold the remaining ownership. The shopping center will boast high class restaurants, a supermarket and approximately 300 international and local department stores. The project is slated to be completed by third quarter of 2015.

Beijing Wangfujing Department Store (Group) Co., Ltd. - a Shanghai Stock Exchange listed company - primarily engages in property development and general merchandise retailing. The company had several regular chain department stores based in some of the major markets of China including, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xining, Lanzhou, Zhuzhou and Erdos.

Founded in 2011, Taubman TCBL is a Beijing-based Chinese subsidiary of Taubman Asia. The company deals in providing retail analysis, leasing, property management, investment services, and development and other services in China. Taubman TCL aims to develop dynamic retail properties portfolios and establish as the leading Chinese asset management company.

Taubman Asia provides a platform for Taubman Centers to expand in the Asia-Pacific region. The subsidiary focuses on ownership, management and development of superior and sustainable retail real estate projects and acts as a major catalyst in Taubman's strong portfolio optimization strategy.

Taubman Centers, which competes with Simon Property Group Inc. (SPG), currently holds a Zacks #2 Rank (a short-term Buy rating). We also have a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.

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