Great Eagle Holdings shares rocketed 85 cents yesterday after news of the planned spin-off of its commercial property arm to partially fund its $8 billion joint-venture office and retail development with the Land Development Corp (LDC). Analysts said Great Eagle had chosen the right time to raise some of the cash for the much-delayed Mongkok project, which has a gross floor area of just over 1.5 million square feet. 'The spin-off news fuelled expectations of an exceptional gain and greater financial strength, which boosted speculative interest,' one analyst said. The stock closed at $23.35, up 3.79 per cent, after touching a morning high of $23.50. Volume was 5.4 million shares worth $126.12 million. Analysts said the timing was right considering that office prices were on the rise and office rents had bottomed out. Analysts said Great Eagle hoped to raise about $2.7 billion to finance part of the project. If the spin-off was successful, it would allow Great Eagle to acquire other assets, apart from funding the project, analysts said. Under the agreement, Great Eagle will pay for the land and the government redevelopment premium. It will also absorb construction costs and interest payments. Sources said Great Eagle had spent about $2.5 billion on the project. Additional funds would come from borrowings from local banks, analysts said. But they said Great Eagle did not need to raise all of the money at once since the project was not expected to be completed until 2000. Great Eagle director Adrian Lee dismissed projections of millions of square feet of office space coming on stream in the next couple of years. 'Some of the supply has been delayed or has been pre-purchased,' he said.