Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) has bought a residential site in Tseung Kwan O for HK$1.033 billion, its first acquisition since the arrest of the company's joint chairmen on suspicion of corruption in March.
SHKP executive director Victor Lui said the total investment, inclusive of the land cost, would be HK$2.5 billion.
The winning bid came nearly two months after co-chairmen Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen, together with Rafael Hui Si-yan, a former Hong Kong chief secretary, were arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) as a result of an investiagtion into allegations of bribery and misconduct in public office.
Executive director Thomas Chan Kui-yuen was arrested by the ICAC on March 19 in connection with a probe into suspected bribery. None of those arrested have been charged and they have been released on bail.
The third Kwok brother, Walter Kwok Ping-sheung, has also been arrested as part of the investigation.
David Ng, a property analyst at Macquarie Equities Research, said SHKP's farmland conversion might be delayed if the anti-graft investigation affected the day-to-day activities of the Kwok brothers and Chan.
The farmland conversion involves special skills and a lot of negotiation with the government.
Chan was responsible for land acquisition and conversion of the company's farmland.
SHKP outbid seven competitors including Cheung Kong (Holdings), Sino Land and Wheelock, to secure the 46,845 square foot Tseung Kwan O site for HK$1.033 billion, or HK$4,009 per square foot. The site sold for slightly higher than the market expectation of HK$979 million to HK$1.03 billion.
The government has imposed a condition requiring the winning bidder to build between 310 and 326 flats, meaning the homes will be 700 to 800 sq ft on average, since the maximum gross floor area for flats is 234,222 square feet.
The site, near Tseung Kwan O MTR station and Park Central housing estates, will generate a total gross floor area of 257,647 sq ft.
Lui said most of the flats would have a sea view.
SHKP last year sold most of the flats at The Wings at Tseung Kwan O station for an average HK$8,100 per sq ft.
Meanwhile, CSI Properties has beaten 15 developers to secure another luxury residential site in Kau To, Sha Tin, for HK$531.5 million. or accommodation value of HK$10,550 per sq ft.
Surveyors said the winning developer could build three-storey houses or large luxury apartments of 1,800 sq ft or more each. The site, which will generate at total gross floor area of 50,376 sq ft, is expected to be developed into villas.
CIS Properties said total investment would be HK$1 billion.
The number of competitors SHKP outbid to secure the Tseung Kwan O site. They included Cheung Kong (Holdings), Sino Land and Wheelock