Property investor Hysan Development will be more aggressive acquiring land amid increasing opportunities arising from the resumption of land sales and the Government's long-term housing policy to boost annual production to 85,000 units. Managing director Peter Lee Ting-chang said the Government's land sales programme had earmarked more small to medium-size sites, an area in which the company was lagging behind. He said the company was also eyeing possibilities in government-subsidised housing developments given the 85,000-unit annual supply target. Other potential targets include development sites or completed buildings put up for sale by companies trying to capitalise on a market recovery. 'We have been participating in lots of talks in the past nine months,' Peter Lee said after the company's annual meeting yesterday. Peter Lee took up the managing director's job in January when he replaced his cousin, Lee Hon-chiu, who remains group chairman. Peter Lee would not reveal any deals under negotiation but said Hysan had a disciplined approach and return on investment was a key factor in deciding whether to proceed with any investment. He rejected claims the company planned to shift its focus to property development, saying it had been involved in development for a long time. He said Hysan had reduced its debt significantly to $6.1 billion from $7.2 billion late last year, bringing the company's gearing ratio down to 29 per cent from 32.6 per cent last year. The decrease was attributed to the proceeds from the sale of investment properties, Broadwood Park near Happy Valley and No.3 Garden Terrace in Mid-Levels, as well as contributions from rental income and the sale of marketable securities, he said. He said the firm's marketable securities portfolio had fallen to less than $1 billion, of which 80 per cent was China Telecom (Hong Kong). The company would continue to unload its share investments when prices were right, he said. He said Hysan remained a shareholder in Cathay Pacific Airways and had not sold any shares in the past year. Director Pauline Wong Yu Wah-ling said she expected office and commercial rentals to stabilise after a 50 per cent fall from their peak. She said the occupancy rate for its office portfolio was about 88 per cent.