Hang Lung Development Co chairman Ronnie Chan Chichung says the company will begin an aggressive land-buying spree early next year in the belief the market will be ripe for a rebound by then. Hang Lung - which has cash reserves of $3 billion - has expressed interest in three sites - two residential and one commercial - scheduled for auction next year. They were a 488,685 square foot residential site at Leighton Hill, Causeway Bay, a 108,479 sq ft residential site in Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, and a 142,084 sq ft commercial site at the Tamar Basin Reclamation, he said after the firm's annual general meeting yesterday. Mr Chan said the group could secure loans of up to $10 billion to finance its land acquisition programme if necessary. The company has invested 'a few hundred million dollars' increasing its stake in its investment property unit, Amoy Properties, to approximately 58 per cent from 51 per cent in the last three or four months, he said. The company bought Amoy shares at prices ranging between $6 and $7 each which represented 'good value', he said. 'Our cash can be used in either buying our own shares or land,' he said. 'We are looking at the auction next year, but [our] shares price will not stay that low. 'We will sell the Amoy shares if we can make a good profit.' Executive director Alfred Li Hung-kwan said the redevelopment of an industrial building into a residential project in Tsuen Wan would cost about $2 billion. The amount excluded a land premium payment which was subject to negotiations with the Government, Mr Li said. The company bought the Tsuen Wan industrial building, adjacent to Hopewell Holdings' Kowloon Panda Hotel, for $930 million. The site would provide a total floor area of 500,000 sq ft. Mr Chan said the company was also in negotiations with the Salvation Army to redevelop its social centres in Kwai Chung, Yau Yat Tsuen and Wan Chai into three residential projects. The company was also negotiating to combine its 500,000 sq ft residential site in Sha Tin with an adjacent site owned by Sun Hung Kai Properties, he said. The site, beside the Shing Mun River, would be enlarged to one million sq ft if negotiations were successful, he said. Commenting on the property market, Mr Chan said it was difficult to say whether the correction was over. 'One thing for sure is that property prices will not drop significantly,' he said. The sale of several major prime sites in land auctions next year would be a better indication of the state of the market, he said.