Korean fund buys PCPD's Bel-Air tower for HK$1.86b

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 October, 2007, 12:00am

A South Korean real estate fund has paid HK$1.86 billion for a residential block at Cyberport's Bel-Air development from PCCW's Pacific Century Premium Developments (PCPD).

The purchase was the first in Hong Kong for Mirae Asset Maps Investment Management, an affiliate of Mirae Asset Group, one of Korea's largest asset managers.

Park Jum-hee, the chief investment officer of Mirae Asset Maps, said Hong Kong was seen as an entry to the vast mainland market and therefore the outlook would be positive.

The acquired property is the 104-unit Tower Six of Bel-Air No 8, the latest phase of the waterfront residential project in Pok Fu Lam.

The sale price for the tower, which has a gross floor area of 150,000 square feet, represents an average of HK$12,500 per square foot.

Mirae plans to hold the tower for rental income, expecting to gross HK$5 million to HK$6 million per month.

The acquisition was made by Mirae's US$450 million Asia-Pacific fund, which can leverage to buy properties worth up to US$2 billion. Half its money is slated for investment in the mainland and Hong Kong.

Mirae would continue to look for investment opportunities in residential, office and retail properties in Hong Kong, said Thomas Cho, an investment analyst at Mirae.

Mr Cho disclosed that early this year, the fund bought an office tower in Shanghai.

Robert Lee Chi-hong, the chief executive of PCPD, said the prices of local medium-sized flats were expected to rise 30 per cent in the next 12 months on the back of a booming economy, low interest rates and a bullish stock market.

Prices of top-end homes would increase even faster because of limited supply, Mr Lee said.

Bel-Air No 8 comprises 709 units in eight blocks. More than 500 flats in that phase were sold when it was launched early this year, leaving only towers One and Six available.

Tower One would be ready for launch in the market shortly, said Wendy Gan Kim-see, PCPD's executive director.

Among the 102 units in Tower One, 50 units are 595 sq ft one-bedroom types, and the remainder is made up of two duplex units and 50 two bedroom units. The latter ranges in size from 979 to 1,053 sq ft.

Ms Gan said the company had sold one duplex unit at HK$20,000 per square foot.

The company also has 29 houses for sale.

PCPD shares closed up 7.79 per cent at HK$2.63 yesterday.

Going up

Developer PCPD expects medium-sized flats in the next 12 months to rise: 30%