HONG KONG, Aug 22 (Reuters) - China Vanke has asked smaller rival China Evergrande Group several times about its motive in building up a stake in Vanke, which is at the centre of a rare public takeover battle in China, but has not received an answer, an executive said.
Wang Wenjin, the executive vice president of Vanke, China's biggest home builder, also told an earnings press conference in Hong Kong on Monday that Evergrande had contacted the company before purchasing the shares about their impending stock buying.
In a filing last week, Evergrande said it had paid 5.46 billion yuan ($823 million) for another 2.14 percent stake in Vanke, becoming its No. 3 investor.
The stake increase came nearly two weeks after Evergrande surprised investors by buying 4.68 percent of Vanke for 9.1 billion yuan, citing the latter's "strong results" as a reason for the investment. (Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)