Stanley Ho to step down as Reda president
Octogenarian casino mogul Stanley Ho Hung-sun will retire this week as the president of the Real Estate Developers Association after more than 20 years in the position.
Stewart Leung Chi-kin, who recently retired as an executive director of New World Development, is expected to replace him.
A person associated with Reda said none of its vice-presidents - including most of the city's property tycoons - wanted the position because of the constant criticism it attracts.
'This is too high-profile a job for them, since you have to face the public and the media frequently, and none of these big brothers would like to do it,' the person said.
'Stewart is a very good choice, since he has been around for a long time and is highly regarded by everyone here. He is now retired and should have some free time to do this important job.'
Another Reda member said Ho, 89, wanted to step down a couple of months ago.
'Even though he [expressed] the same wish a few times before, we think we have to respect his wish this time,' the member said.
Reda will hold an election at its annual general meeting on Friday.
Leung, 71, who is vice-chairman of the association's executive committee, has also been acting as Reda's spokesman for a long time. He was not available for comment.
This will only be the second time the powerful body has changed its leader. Founded by the late tycoon Henry Fok Ying-tung under the Societies Ordinance in 1965 and with more than 500 individual and 300 corporate members, it has no website and offers little information to the public about the way it operates.
There is growing pressure on the group to increase its transparency after a series of controversies over property deals, such as the collapse of flat sales in Henderson Land's Conduit Road development last year.
Reda hired public relations firm Ogilvy last year to do a wide-ranging 'public perception audit' and is expected to launch a website soon.