New World Development (NWD) has attempted to calm investor nerves over its financial position by unveiling plans to cut its net debt by 30 per cent to $14 billion in the next two years. NWD said the group, as of August 28, carried net debt of $20 billion, excluding $5.4 billion in loans for its 57.19 per cent owned subsidiary New World Infrastructure. Of this debt, about 57 per cent is denominated in US dollars with the remainder in Hong Kong dollars. The latest financial position of the group, chaired by Cheng Yu-tung, was unveiled in a roadshow presentation in the United States. Hit by concerns over its cash position and the impact of a possible yuan devaluation on the company's future earnings prospects, NWD has seen its stock dumped by institutional investors in the past two months. On Friday, NWD closed at $8.50, hitting a 7.5-year low, 82.86 per cent below its 12-month high of $49.60. In the presentation document, NWD said the just-ended financial year will reap an estimated $3.42 billion in recurrent income from property rentals, services, hotels and infrastructure businesses. NWD also expects to see positive cash flow at its bus service and telecommunications divisions in the present financial year. Properties available for sale this financial year would generate net proceeds of $6.6 billion, it said. They include eight projects such as Grand Millennium Plaza in Central, Discovery Park phase three in Tsuen Wan and World Peace Centre in Kwai Chung. NWD said it had undrawn facilities of $4 billion. If necessary, the company could raise more funds through the disposal of H-share and red-chip investments, it said. The present market value of those shares was estimated by the group at $933 million. NWD is applying to Beijing authorities for the formation of a mainland incorporated holding company in an attempt to cut foreign exchange exposure at a time of increasing fears of a yuan devaluation. By law, state-owned banks in the mainland can only lend to mainland entities which include mainland incorporated holding firms. Those companies can arrange yuan-denominated corporate bonds and syndicated loans. In its telecommunications business, NWD expects its PCS network to break even and cash flow to be positive this financial year. Its fixed-line network will break even in the 2000 financial year.