Sun Hung Kai Properties is one of Hong Kong’s largest property groups, with revenue of HK$68.4 billion in the 2011-2012 financial year, and profit attributable to shareholders of HK$43.08 billion. The company has been shaken in recent years by disputes between family members, with chairman and chief executive Walter Kwok being forced to step down in a dispute with his brothers Thomas and Raymond. In March, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) arrested senior officials as part of a corruption probe that also included former chief secretary Rafael Hui.
Hong Kong property prices won't 'fall a lot', says Sun Hung Kai Properties chief
Meanwhile, city's largest developer to continue seeking sites in mainland's first-tier cities
Unlike some analysts, Hong Kong’s biggest developer does not expect home prices in the city to fall drastically.
Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong, joint chairman and managing director of Sun Hung Kai Properties, said he thinks Hong Kong home prices will be stable.
Speaking after the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday, Kwok said: “Home prices go up and down. [They] will not go up forever. [They] will not fall a lot either.”
Banks have recently predicted slumps of as much as 25-30 per cent in residential property prices within the next year or two.
SHKP surprised the market when it released 181 flats for sale at its luxury project The Cullinan last month at about 21 per cent below prices in the secondary market, once discounts and rebates on stamp duties were factored in.
But Victor Lui Ting, the company’s deputy managing director, said on Thursday the local market is being supported by low mortage rates, real demand and high construction costs.
Turning to the mainland, Kwok said that in view of the positive economic prospects after the just-concluded third plenary meeting of the ruling party’s leaders, SHKP will continue to look for opportunities to acquire sites in the four first-tier cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
“Chinese leaders have announced the blueprint for the nation’s development in the next 10 years. The development direction will affect the country and also Hong Kong,” Kwok said.
It will also affect investments, he said.
Kwok highlighted the development of Shanghai’s free-trade zone as an example and said Hong Kong’s business community could consider how to co-operate with companies in the zone to look for investment opportunities.
He said SHKP would continue to bid for land sites in China.
“But we will only focus on the four first-tier cities,” Kwok said.
In September, SHKP bought a plot of land in Xujiahui district, Shanghai, for a record 21.77 billion yuan (HK$27.5 billion).