What the brokers said...
China Overseas Land & Investment is engaged in construction, project management, property development and letting.
Inspired by overly optimistic market sentiment in the first three quarters of 1997, China Overseas purchased many parcels of land and shares at high prices.
However, this left the company saddled with large net losses in 1998 and 1999 following the burst of the property market bubble.
Between 1998 and 2000, the company embarked on a strategic restructuring and decided to increase its concentration in the mainland.
The proportion of the company's investment in the mainland and Hong Kong was 7:3 a year ago. It was 3:7 prior to 1997.
A return to the black (a net profit of HK$294 million) in 2000 vindicated chairman Sun Wenjie's decision to look north and prompted Core Pacific-Yamaichi last year to place a long-term buy recommendation on China Overseas' stock.