Orient Overseas Developments (OOD), the property arm of shipping and transport conglomerate Orient Overseas (International), will explore a mainland listing to enhance its cross-border competitiveness. Deputy managing director Alan Tung Lieh-sing, younger son of Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, said the firm planned to invest US$150 million in Shanghai. Mr Tung expected the newly acquired 150,000 square metre plot, at the junction of Julu, Reijinyi and Jinxian roads, in Xuhui district, could provide more than 1,000 residential units. Acquiring land in the urban area was getting harder as a result of increasing competition. Developers also had to manage the resettlement of residents from the acquired land and this could form more than 80 per cent of development costs, he said. The land premium of the lot was a comfortable market price. Mr Tung expected to see strong competition between overseas and local developers following Shanghai's August merger of domestic and foreign residential sales. Mr Tung said the company was looking at several opportunities. 'Listing the company in the mainland is definitely one of the alternatives in terms of raising capital and help facilitate our large projects,' he said, pointing out the listing plan was only preliminary. Founded in 1993 OOD focuses on the residential market in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Beijing. Mr Tung said Shanghai's housing market was growing fast with a more mature government land policy, such as the introduction of land auctions. Buying confidence was bolstered with falling interest rates and tax rebates for home-buyers. Many developers were drawn to Shanghai's housing market because of its high returns, Mr Tung said. Cheap land premiums and low costs meant many projects in Shanghai could secure profit margins of 15 per cent to more than 20 per cent. He said OOD would continue to explore the high-end residential market despite rising demand. Shanghai's housing sector had not felt the negative impact of the global economic slowdown and the terrorist attacks in the United States. 'Unlike Hong Kong which is more sensitive to the slowing economy of America, Shanghai is a far more remote and independent market,' Mr Tung said, but admitted the company would be more cautious in the next few months in making its moves. Most of its projects, including Shanghai Fontainebleau, Shanghai Joffre Gardens, Shanghai Courtyards and Shanghai Century Metropolis, were in Puxi District. Mr Tung hopes to explore more opportunities in other parts of the city, such as Pudong. 'In recent years the development in Pudong is amazing, it's really very impressive in Lujiazui. We would like to seek chances in these areas,' he said. This month Mr Tung plans to release phase two of Shanghai Century Metropolis, in Xuhui district. He expected a sell-out of the 680-unit project could realise about 700 million yuan (about HK$655.9 million). The company's 550-unit phase one development generated proceeds of about 500 million yuan.