Five buyers of Apex Horizon hotel suites seeking compensation from developer Cheung Kong turned to the Securities and Futures Commission for help on Monday morning.
They represent the 24 buyers who have turned down a compensation offer after their purchases of hotel rooms were cancelled by Cheung Kong’s subsidiary Pearl Wisdom last year.
More than 200 other buyers have accepted the compensation of HK$10,000 in legal fees and interests.
The 24 buyers say Cheung Kong should pay back their deposits in full, about HK$600,000. The SFC has agreed to meet each of them and consider their demand case by case.
The property giant, headed by chairman Li Ka-shing, took advantage of a legal loophole to allow buyers to avoid paying residential stamp duty. It raised HK$1.4 billion in February last year by selling the rooms. Buyers were assured that the sales were legal.
But the SFC had found evidence that the sales constituted a collective investment scheme, meaning the project required SFC approval of promotional documents to ensure they disclosed investment details and risks.
In May, Cheung Kong made a deal with the SFC to cancel the sales of all 360 rooms and refund deposits.