SOME commercial banks in the territory have made capital commitments to New World Development's government-subsidised housing projects in China. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Hang Seng Bank and Shanghai Commercial Bank are some of the major subscribers of the private placement of the US$500 million fund, raised by New World's newly-formed subsidiary, NW China Homeowner Development. Other subscribers include Dah Sing Financial Holdings, Kwangtung Provincial Bank, HSBC Private Equity, Capital International and Manhattan Garments. New World Development yesterday announced that commitments had been received to raise $500 million in respect of subscriptions for new shares in NW China Homeowner Development. The new company was set up for the main purpose of financing the development of large scale government subsidised housing projects in China's cities. New World Development managing director Henry Cheng Kar-shun said that of the $500 million, about 43 per cent, or $215 million, had been raised from local and Southeast Asian investors. Mr Cheng said: 'Of that $215 million, about 70 per cent is from local investors.' Mr Cheng said banking institutions were interested in the housing projects, because of the expected profit return of 25 per cent and low investment risks. New World Development is to subscribe the balance of $285 million, which gives it an initial 57 per cent interest in the fund. The new company comprises the existing government subsidised housing projects to date entered into by New World group. Government-subsidised housing investments in China are in line with Beijing's nationwide anju (comfortable housing) programme, aimed at providing affordable housing for the urban residents. Existing projects are in Wuhan, Shenyang, Tianjin and Huizhou, and comprise a total gross floor area of 100 million square feet. It is proposed that the new company will eventually enter into contracts in four other projects, in Beijing, Guangzhou, Nanjing and again in Wuhan. Mr Cheng said New World group would conduct any further projects through the company. It is intended eventually to list the NW China Homeowner Development.