| HONG KONG, March 31
HONG KONG, March 31 China Vanke
, the subject of a protracted corporate
power tussle, has come under the direct control of the Shenzhen
municipal government, according to a WeChat post by a local
Vanke, China's No. 2 homebuilder by sales, has been in
crisis since late 2015 as financial conglomerate Baoneng Group
built up a 25 percent stake to become its largest shareholder
and sought to oust management.
To counter Baoneng, state-owned Shenzhen Metro Group, a key
Vanke ally, bought a 15 percent holding and this month became
its largest shareholder in terms of voting rights after a proxy
agreement with Vanke's third-biggest shareholder.
The Shenzhen body that oversees government-controlled
enterprises said Vanke had become one of its newest members,
according to the Wechat post seen by Reuters on Friday.
The developer had also attended a recent meeting to set
targets on social responsibilities and role of state-owned
enterprises in promoting Shenzhen's growth, it added.
Asked to comment on whether it could be considered a
state-owned enterprise, Vanke said on Friday it had always been
'a mixed-ownership enterprise' and would continue to be one.
Whether the more direct control by the Shenzhen government
will cause Baoneng to back down remains to be seen. Some
analysts believe it is still interested in gaining seats on
Baoneng and Shenzhen Metro did not respond to requests for
The term of Vanke's current board officially expired on
March 27, although company rules allow the current board to
serve until a new one is formed. The property developer said
this week that no time frame to select a new board had been set
as yet as various parties were discussing proposals.
(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and