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Hong Kong stamp duty

Lai Sun rules out price cut despite new property tax

Developer says low interest rates and tight supply to keep housing market stable

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 October, 2012, 3:17am

Lai Sun Development has no plans to cut the prices of its new project in Yau Tong despite the 15 per cent additional stamp duty imposed on non-permanent residents and corporate buyers.

"We expect home prices to remain stable in view of the low interest rates and tight supply," said Chew Fook Aun, the company's deputy chairman.

The developer is selling 52 flats at Ocean One at an average of HK$10,325 per square foot.

Chew's comments followed the company's announcement that its underlying profit edged up 3.17 per cent to HK$845.5 million in the year to July from HK$819.5 million in the previous year.

Taking into account revaluation gains on investment properties, net profit fell 6.55 per cent to HK$2.28 billion.

Revenue dropped 26.63 per cent to HK$875.2 million. No dividend was declared.

Chew said Lai Sun would on Friday participate in the bidding for a residential site in Ma On Shan, which is estimated to cost HK$2.53 billion.

The company recently teamed up with K Wah International Holdings to bid for a residential site near Yuen Long's Long Ping MTR station and submitted a tender for the Urban Renewal Authority's "Sneaker Street" commercial and residential project in Mong Kok last month.

It failed to secure the sites in the two government tenders, but Chew was upbeat on future acquisitions.

"We will actively replenish our land bank," he said.

The group's mainland property arm, Lai Fung Holdings, meanwhile, said net profit jumped 53.3 per cent to HK$812.8 million in the year to July, compared with HK$530.1 million in the previous year.

Turnover soared 115 per cent to HK$1.39 billion from HK$674.2 million.

During the year, the company recorded gross rental income of HK$474.5 million, 22.04 per cent higher than the HK$388.8 million in the previous year.

Its retail office and serviced apartment development, Shanghai Hong Kong Plaza, in Shanghai contributed HK$349.6 million to gross rental income, up 25 per cent.

With that, Shanghai Hong Kong Plaza accounted for 74 per cent of the company's total gross rental income.

Shares of Lai Sun Development dropped 1.09 per cent to close at 18.2 HK cents yesterday while Lai Fung finished unchanged at 15.6 HK cents.