Swire Group

Midland chief plans to boost shareholding

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 May, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 May, 1999, 12:00am

Midland Realty (Holdings) chairman Freddie Wong Kin-yip will continue to increase his stake in the company after two shareholders reduced their holdings recently.

Mr Wong, who holds a 31 per cent interest in Midland, yesterday said he had bought about 300,000 shares in the past two days to demonstrate his support for the company and optimism about the industry.

He said he was hopeful of lifting his shareholding to possibly 34.9 per cent, just below the 35 per cent trigger point for a general offer.

This would be subject to the share price and his cash reserves on hand, Mr Wong said after the company's annual general meeting yesterday.

Since last month, Hong Kong Parkview Group had sold down its Midland stake to 9.74 per cent from 11.35 per cent. The company's ousted co-founder, William Fung Yui-sum, had reduced his stake to 9.3 per cent from about 31 per cent.

Mr Wong would not speculate on whether Hong Kong Parkview and Mr Fung would further reduce their stakes.

Meanwhile, Midland would save about $2.4 million in rental expenses a year after relocating its back-up offices and retail division to Mongkok from Tsim Sha Tsui and North Point, he said.

The company had leased more than two floors at Golden Era Plaza at a monthly rental of $10 per square foot.

Before the relocation, Midland had paid $20 per square foot per month for its back-up offices in other premises.

However, the company's headquarters would remain in Worldwide House, Central.

The leasing contracts for 60 of the company's branches were due for renewal this year, of which 40 were under negotiation, he said.