Soho China

Evergrande is tight-lipped on Guangzhou site

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 January, 2010, 12:00am

Evergrande Real Estate Group remains evasive about suggestions that the Guangzhou government had repossessed an undeveloped site it bought for 4.1 billion yuan (HK$4.66 billion) two years ago and seized the company's 130 million yuan deposit.

'We are still in discussion with the city government and promise to release any information once we get an answer,' said James Xia Haijun, the chief executive of Guangzhou-based Evergrande.

He said authorities had rezoned the site and its surrounding areas for commercial use from its original designation as a residential zone.

Asked if the authorities had seized the 130 million yuan deposit, Xia said: 'The issue is still in discussion and there is no result yet.'

But he stressed that the 109,802 square metre site was not held by the Hong Kong-listed company but was privately owned by chairman Hui Ka-yan.

Xia said Evergrande was not hoarding land for development.

'Construction of our residential project in Changsha started just six months after we bought the site in July last year. The project was put on pre-sale on New Year's Day,' he said.

The developer said it had revenue of 30.3 billion yuan from contract sales last year, up 402 per cent on 2008. It sold 5.63 million square metres of property during the year.

The average selling price rose 54 per cent to 6,175 yuan per square metre last month, said Tse Wai-wah, the company's chief financial officer.

Evergrande's shares fell 2.4 per cent to HK$4.06 in a rising market.

Meanwhile, Beijing-based Soho China yesterday announced it had generated about 13.1 billion yuan from contract sales last year, up 70 per cent on 2008.

The sales came from four commercial and residential projects - Sanlitun Soho, Chaoyangmen Soho, Beijing Soho Residences and Zhongguancun Soho.

Soho China spent 10.6 billion yuan snapping up four more development projects in Beijing and Shanghai during the year. They have a combined gross floor area of 738,540 sq metres.

Agile Property Holdings announced its contract sales amounted to 22.6 billion yuan last year, 41 per cent above its targeted 16 billion yuan. It sold 2.79 million sq metres of gross floor area.

There was a strong sales response from Hainan Clearwater Bay, La Site Greenville Zhongshan and Agile Garden Guangzhou.

Agile generated property sales of 11.6 billion yuan in 2008.

Controversial asset

Developer says talks ongoing with city leaders on property in question

The amount Evergrande Real Estate Group paid for the undeveloped site in Guangzhou two years ago, in yuan: 4.1b yuan