Hopewell delays pre-sales in Guangzhou on small-flat rules

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 September, 2007, 12:00am

Hopewell Holdings said pre-sales of its residential project in Guangzhou would be delayed as it had to resubmit development plans to comply with the government's move to increase the supply of small homes.

Managing director Thomas Jefferson Wu said the delay was mainly the result of Beijing's rules that all projects had to allocate 70 per cent of the total flat area to units no bigger than 90 square metres each.

Details on implementation of the new regulations had not yet been announced, Mr Wu added.

The delay would not affect the company's income, he said.

The new rules will affect the phase one B portion of the Hopewell New Town project in Huadu, which comprises six residential blocks with a gross floor area of 193,000 square feet.

All units at the phase one A portion have been completed and sold. The project is part of Hopewell's 1.4 million square metre residential, hotel and retail development in Guangdong's largest city.

Executive director Barry Mok said the firm's income would be strengthened by two investment properties and one residential project in Hong Kong that were either completed or under construction.

Hopewell opened a commercial complex, EMax, in Kowloon Bay in June while another one in Wan Chai, QRE Plaza, is due for completion in a few months.

Its residential project in Happy Valley is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2010.

Last month, Hopewell reported full-year recurring earnings rose 80 per cent to HK$2.68 billion, thanks to strong property sales and traffic growth at its toll-road arm.

Net profit rose 17 per cent to HK$2.63 billion after HK$499 million in one-off gains from trading listed securities of its banking partners and revaluations on investment properties net of deferred tax.

Hopewell shares rose 0.92 per cent to close at HK$38.35 yesterday.