Hysan Development may unload investment properties and equity holdings to reduce bank borrowings and interest expenses, chairman Lee Hon-chiu says. After its annual general meeting yesterday, Mr Lee said the interest burden had increased, and the priority was to reduce debt. The company recently sold six units at Broadwood Park in Happy Valley for more than $100 million. Apart from Broadwood Park, the company would consider disposing of other properties if a reasonable offer were received. Another alternative was to sell its securities holdings, he said. The company held 1 per cent in China Telecom (Hong Kong), which could be traded in the open market after October 28, he said. The China Telecom shares were bought by Hysan at the mainland firm's listing last year. The shares could not be re-sold within one year of their purchase, he said. 'We will think of selling the China Telecom shares only if the price is good,' he said. Last year's annual report said Hysan's short-term borrowings - repayable within a year - were $3.92 billion, sharply up from $22 million a year earlier. Borrowings as of December 31 reached $9.83 billion, 112.6 per cent higher than $4.62 billion a year ago. The company's debt to equity ratio is 19.6 per cent. The company attributed the rise in debt largely to the acquisition of Entertainment Building in Central, construction of The Lee Gardens in Causeway Bay and purchase of the 1 per cent China Telecom stake. Group property director Pauline Wong Yu Wah-ling said the company would study bidding for the Government tender sale of a 75,950 sq ft residential site at Aldrich Bay reclamation in Shau Kei Wan and the phase four residential development at Kowloon Station on the airport railway. 'We will team up with other partners to bid for the sites if we go for them,' she said. She said this year would remain a difficult time for leasing market, and retail tenants had asked for a rent cut. The company would prefer to spend more on promoting the shopping centre, however. She said the firm would consider adjusting rents for those tenants who paid much more than the market rate when the agreement was due for renewal.