Wharf (Holdings) has scrapped plans to privatise its hotel arm, Harbour Centre Development, three weeks after stating its intention to do so. The aborted attempt to buy out minority shareholders is the second time that Wharf has flirted with, but ultimately backed away from, a privatisation. Expectation that Harbour City would be privatised grew after group parent, Wheelock, recently bought out minority shareholders of Lane Crawford. Since the beginning of the year the Harbour Centre stock price has risen from a low of $3.15 to $6.40, when suspended from trading on July 16. The increase was driven by hopes of a privatisation. The firm made a bid to buy back Harbour Centre six years ago but called it off after failing to secure sufficient support from minority shareholders. Analysts had viewed the privatisation favourably since it would have streamlined the group's unwieldy corporate structure and appeared to generate value since Harbour Centre shares trade at a significant discount to their net asset value.