Asia Standard Hotel Group will consider acquisitions in Hong Kong and the mainland after it is spun off from parent Asia Standard International, according to chairman Richard Poon Jing. As part of a group restructuring proposed last week, Asia Standard Hotel will take over Yaohan International's listing. The spin-off, expected to be completed next month, will reduce Asia Standard International's stake in the wholly owned subsidiary to 70 per cent. Mr Poon said the hotel group would focus on attracting business clients with its three-star and four-star hotels. He said the group would continue to explore new projects and possibly acquire existing hotels by issuing new shares. Asia Standard Hotel owns three hotels, the Empire Hotel in Wan Chai, the Empire Landmark Hotel in Vancouver, Canada, and the unfinished Empire Hotel Kowloon in Tsim Sha Tsui. Asia Standard International finance director Ricky Lun said the hotel group's asset value would exceed HK$3 billion with debts of HK$1 billion after the spin-off. This represented a gearing ratio of 35 per cent, he said, adding the hotel group would also have cash of HK$400 million. Mr Poon said the Tsim Sha Tsui hotel, which cost HK$1.1 billion, would be completed in September. It would have a soft opening in October, and would officially open in December. The Wan Chai hotel's occupancy rate stood at 89 per cent while the Vancouver hotel had a rate of 75 per cent, he said. The group was also investing HK$28 million in the Vancouver hotel's podium refurbishment. After spinning off the hotel unit, Asia Standard International would reduce its debt by HK$1 billion and its gearing would be lowered to 28 per cent, said Mr Poon. Asia Standard International has just teamed with Grosvenor Estate of Britain and Ayala Land of the Philippines in a HK$600 million 55,000 square feet luxury project at 117 Repulse Bay Road. Grosvenor will take 29.9 per cent interest in the project while Ayala will take 20 per cent.