SINO Land Co is to raise funds through a convertible bond issue to help finance new land purchases. Jardine Fleming International has been appointed to lead manage a convertible bond issue due in 2001, the details of which will be announced tomorrow. Sino last used convertible bonds to raise money in October 1993, raising US$200 million. Sino executive director Michael Cheng Chaun-kwan said this proved to be both a successful and cheap form of financing, paying just five per cent interest. Mr Cheng said about 65 per cent of these bonds were converted into shares over the past two years, leaving Sino with scope to issue more. He said the money raised through the new issue was intended to support Sino's costly bid for rights to carry out the giant property developments above the Mass Transit Railway's planned airport railway stations on the Central and West Kowloon reclamations. The MTRC's Central development could cost more than HK$40 billion to develop and the first phase of the Kowloon development about HK$8 billion. Sino has led consortiums bidding for both. If unsuccessful in both tenders, Mr Cheng said the cash raised would be diverted towards financing other property developments already on the group's books and to buy other development sites. Detailed pricing and other terms for the bonds, including the amount to be raised, interest rate and conversion premium, had not yet been finalised. The bonds would be issued to institutional and professional investors, primarily in Europe, and would be on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.