China Overseas Land and Investment Ltd, the country's largest developer bymarket value, said it aims to record 20 percent growth in netprofit this year, betting that it can ride through governmentmeasures to cool the market. 

However, growth in the domestic residential estate sector wasexpected to slow, with total sales this year likely to fall about30 percent to 700 million square metres, Chairman Kong Qingpingtold Reuters on the sidelines of an industry event on Friday. 

This year's situation won't be as good as last year, Kongsaid. But we will try to maintain our net profit growth targetat about 20 percent this year. 

China has taken various steps to cool the property market,including multiple increases in bank reserve ratios to curblending and the introduction of a tax on home purchases inShanghai and Chongqing.

Despite the measures, official data on Friday showed thatproperty prices rose in most Chinese cities in January, withBeijing rising almost 7 percent and Shanghai up 1.5 percent.

 China Overseas Land is due to announce its full-year earningson March 17. In 2010, China Overseas Land posted a 40.4 percent jump inproperty sales to HK$67.1 billion, while total gross floor areasold rose 11.2 percent to 5.3 million sq m, it said earlier thisyear. 

Shares of the developer, which realised its strongest salesin first-tier cities such as Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou lastyear, have lost 10 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock is hovering at a 2-½   year low because of worries overmore tightening to curb the red-hot property sector.