Henderson Land

Henderson Investment draws buying interest

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 March, 2008, 12:00am

Henderson Investment, a unit of Henderson Land Development, said a joint-venture partner was interested in acquiring some of its assets after its share price jumped 104.49 per cent to close at 91 HK cents yesterday.

Kitty Cheung, an analyst at Bank of China International, said she believed that market speculation of a possible privatisation had also helped underpin the share rally.

A market source said the surge was also partly fuelled by a rumour that the company planned to declare a special dividend of nine HK cents per share.

The company and Henderson Land are due to announce interim results today.

However, a Henderson Land spokesman yesterday said the company had no plans to privatise Henderson Investment.

Shares of Henderson Land rose 2.41 per cent to close at HK$55.30.

In a statement released after the market closed, Henderson Investment confirmed that it had received an expression of interest from a joint-venture partner but was awaiting further information on the terms.

The company said it had not reached agreement with the interested partner.

Henderson Investment received approval to sell its stake in Hong Kong and China Gas last year, leaving it with two major assets.

The company owned a 55.7 per cent stake in Qianjiang Third Bridge and a 31.4 per cent interest in a highway in Maanshan, Anhui province, in June last year, according to its annual report.

The company generated profit of HK$130.7 million for the past financial year to June, a 59.77 per cent increase from HK$81.8 million in the previous year.

The profit growth was mainly because of higher traffic volume on the bridge after repair and maintenance work.

Eric Wong, an analyst at UBS, said he did not think Henderson Land would delist Henderson Investment.

'I don't think Henderson Land will privatise Henderson Investment as having one more listing vehicle will provide Henderson Land greater flexibility [for financial engineering],' Mr Wong said.

Drawing admirers

A joint-venture partner has voiced interest in the company's assets

The approach came after the firm's share price yesterday rose: 104%