Kumagai Gumi (Hong Kong) hopes to go ahead with the flotation of its mainland infrastructure project, Hainan Yangpu Economic Development Zone, in a separate listing by the end of this year, group deputy chairman Frederick Ma Si-hang says. Mr Ma said the spin-off proposal would attract more investors to the development - the 30 kilometre zone at the north-west tip of Hainan Island being developed as China's first free port and a major economic zone. The company has appointed HSBC Investment Bank Asia to advise on the flotation plan, but Mr Ma declined to say if the planned listing vehicle would only comprise the company's own interests in the economic zone or include partner shareholdings in the project. Kumagai Gumi has a 30 per cent stake in Yangpu Land Development Co, which obtained the rights to develop the zone. The company will be responsible for the construction of building infrastructure and selling usable land to companies planning to set up business in the area. Mr Ma said the joint venture company reaped $1.2 billion from land sales in the zone in 1993, but sales were then adversely affected by national austerity measures. 'We stopped the land sale due to the macro-economic controls,' he said. Mr Ma said the latest land sale was for one hectare to a steel bar manufacturer six months ago. He expected industrial companies to be attracted to the zone as more infrastructure was built. The joint venture company has put $4 billion into the project, constructing and installing roads, telecommunications facilities and power supply. Kumagai Gumi's spin-off proposal is part of a trend. Other companies, including Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Wai Kee Holdings, have hived off their infrastructure vehicles for separate listings. The company this year expects to reap substantial income from property projects, including Villa Rosa, in Tai Tam, and several commercial and residential complexes in mainland China. The mainland projects include the residential-commercial-retail complex Sky Guangzhou's Central Plaza and the Shun Hing Square in Shenzhen. Shun Hing Square includes 1.5 million square feet of office space in a 68-storey main tower and 445,000 sq ft of executive apartments in a residential tower. It also has 270,000 sq ft of retail space which the company will retain for long term investment.