TIAN An China's investment in the mainland property sector is estimated to exceed $2 billion. Last year the company sold properties totalling more than 180,000 square metres, an increase of 200 per cent on the previous year. The company expects to put double the area on sale this year. During the past five years, Tian An China has developed more than 40 property projects in 12 cities on the mainland. Huang Chenrong, managing director of Tian An China, says the company's profits do not fully reflect the profitability of its assets and he forecasts that profits in 1994 will show a substantial increase. The company will focus on southern China. - ECONOMIC JOURNAL SOURCES in the property market say the Fung family, one of the major shareholders of Li & Fung, has reached an agreement with a consortium to sell Inter Ocean Court on the Peak for $186 million, averaging $5,297 per square foot. The property at 26 Peak Road was built in 1949 with a site area of 18,417 sq ft. It is a seven-storey residential block with a total floor area of 35,114 sq ft. - ECONOMIC JOURNAL DESPITE the weakness of the Australian dollar and sterling, which are having a negative impact on Dairy Farm International, the profits from the Taiwan business and the reduction of losses at the Spanish operations are offsetting the adverse effects of thefluctuating exchange rates. Dairy Farm managing director Owen Price, who is due to retire on Friday, points out that a supermarket operated by Dairy Farm in Taiwan made a profit for the first time last year. The Simago chain in Spain has completed the streamlining of its management and losses should be cut this year. - MING PAO YEUNG Shou-sing, chairman of the Emperor Group, says the company will begin its commodities futures business in Xiamen on July 8. Mr Yeung says the new company will have $10 million of issued capital, with the Hongkong side holding 80 per cent. It will be conducting futures deals with the US and Japan through Hongkong. The company will also deal in currency futures and is applying for a licence to the People's Bank of China. - MING PAO LUK King-tin, chairman of Luks Industrial, says he expects more than half of 1993-94 profits to come from its property business. The company's investment in Vietnam will contribute no less than 10 per cent of the profits over the same period. Luks has invested more than US$10 million in a Vietnamese plant manufacturing wood products. If the price for materials does not change, this operation should break even within two years. Mr Luk adds that the Vietnamese operations should represent 50 per cent of the company's business by 1996. - EXPRESS NEWS A FOOD company processing edible oil in Panyu, 51 per cent owned by Lam Soon Food, started operation yesterday. The first year's output should be 70,000 tonnes, which is 66.66 per cent of the edible oil imported by Hongkong each year. The total investment for this project is $14 million. Chien Kuo-fung, managing director of the company, says the impact of the depreciation of the yuan on the company will be short term. Once all of its operations on the mainland begin production the situation will improve because Lam Soon will become an export firm so the depreciation of the yuan will have a positive rather than a negative impact. - EXPRESS NEWS RUMOURS abound in the market that a mainland party has approached Asean Resources for the acquisition of its shell. It is said that the potential buyer will offer a price which will satisfy the major shareholder of the company. - SING PAO UNISON International says its board has been informed by SEA Holdings, one of its major shareholders, that SEA has been in discussions with third parties regarding the sale of the 34.5 per cent stake it holds in the company. The board has also been in unsuccessful discussions on the sale of some assets. - MING PAO RED-CHIP share prices fell yesterday. Sources in the securities industry say this is unrelated to the listing of Tsingtao brewery, believing that the fall has more to do with rumours that mainland banks are facing economic problems. Investors are worried about a possible outflow of mainland capital. Moreover, the share prices of shell stocks have reached unsustainable levels and a correction was unavoidable. Market analysts point out that buyers of Tsingtao's shares will be largely institutional investors in an entirely different market sector from investors speculating on the rise and fall of shell stocks. Therefore the fall of the red chip stocks is thought to be unrelated to the Tsingtao listing. - SING PAO WING On International, through one of its subsidiaries, intends to build a commercial building and other properties in Wuhan and a letter of intent will be signed on Thursday. The building will cover a site area of more than 10,000 square feet and its lower five floors will be used as a shopping mall. Total investment will be more than one billion yuan (about HK$1.34 billion at the official rate). The subsidiary will have a 60 per cent interest in the project, with the remainder going to the Wuhan partner. Earlier Wing On built a children's amusement park in the city. - ORIENTAL DAILY TVB's share price dropped 30 cents to close at $20.50 on the back of the temporary withdrawal of News Corp's plan to buy a stake in the company. The market has been pessimistic about News Corp's intention to acquire 22 per cent of TVB, and in addition to the substantial rise of TVB's shares lately, the drop did not surprise the market. Sources in the securities industry point out that News Corp's withdrawal will reduce the competitiveness of TVB against Wharf Cable, and will have a negative impact on TVB's future share price. An analyst says that with a PE ratio of 21 at present, TVB is slightly overvalued. He says a PE of 13 or 14 would be more reasonable. He points out, however, that even if News Corp drops its bid altogether this will only affect the optimism of investors and will have little impact on profits. - MING PAO THE director of China Non-Ferrous Metals' Zhuzhou refinery planning department said in Hongkong that the local arm of China Non-Ferrous metals was planning to buy a 25 per cent stake in the refinery in co-operation with Cheung Kong. The director said the refinery was to develop a zinc refining project with an annual production of 100,000 tons. The investment required for this project will be US$100 million. China Non-Ferrous Metals will inject some of its mainland assets into its Hongkong arm before listingin the territory. The assets include four mainland metal plants, including the Zhuzhou refinery. - TA KUNG PAO JIN Nengchou, mayor of Fuzhou, says work on the first phase of a redevelopment project in the old city districts will begin on August 17. Li Ka-shing has invested more than 40 million yuan in the project. The money is already with the Fuzhou Government.