Sino Land will step up investment in China, making it the latest Hong Kong developer to show revived interest in mainland expansion with the country's World Trade Organisation accession. Speaking after its annual general meeting yesterday, chairman Robert Ng Chee Siong said: 'We will continue to work on our existing projects in Xiamen and Fuzhou and we will be interested in new projects in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.' He said it would like to take part in residential, office, shopping arcades and hotel projects. 'We are definitely interested in bidding for the three prime residential lots in Shenzhen [for auction next month],' said Mr Ng, adding that the company had not decided if it would go solo or tie-up with other developers. 'You can see that with China's entry to WTO, the market is flooded with property projects for sale [in Hong Kong] recently.' Mr Ng said China business accounted for less than 1 per cent of value in Sino Land's investment portfolio but this share would gradually rise. He did not provide a specific growth target. Shenzhen will hold a public auction on December 6 of three residential lots totalling 23.7 hectares on a newly reclaimed area at Shenzhen Bay, near Hong Kong's Lok Ma Chau border crossing. With the around-the-clock border crossing expected in the near future, analysts forecast that Hong Kong developers would be keen on the Shenzhen auction. Analysts said that with the sluggish property market in Hong Kong and China's growing economic importance with WTO accession, major developers were increasingly interested in the mainland. Sun Hung Kai Properties said earlier that it would put more effort into Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen property markets. New World Development said it would step up investments in Beijing with China's WTO entry and the capital's successful bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games. Henderson Land also said it would gear up investment in Beijing. Mr Ng said he was optimistic about Hong Kong's property market, which would still play a key role in the company. 'October was the best month for developers [this year]. Developers sold more than 3,000 units in October. Sino also sold close to 1,000 units. The result is incredibly encouraging,' he said. 'Even after the September 11 event, Hong Kong people still have great confidence in the property market.' He said the property market had started to recover and he expected a stable environment with interest rates set to fall further. Executive director Robert Lee Chi-hong said Sino recorded HK$1.8 billion in sales value last month. So far this year, Sino Group had sold 2,800 units worth HK$10 billion, in which Sino Land had a 50 per cent interest. He said Sino Land would release Sky Horizon in North Point for sale soon and it was preparing to sell the 900-unit Ocean View in Ma On Shan during the first quarter next year. Ambrose Cheung Wing-sum, another Sino Land executive director, said the group's hotels suffered very little from the terrorist attacks in the United States because of the continued arrival of tourists from east Asian countries. In September and last month, occupancy rates at Sino Land's hotels were about 80 to 90 per cent. Mr Cheung said they were higher this month with 100 per cent occupancy at Royal Pacific Hotel & Towers in Tsim Sha Tsui and 95 per cent for City Garden Hotel in North Point. Benjamin Lam Yu-yee, a Sino Land executive director, said the developer had no pressure to raise funds from the market with HK$2 billion cash on hand, a HK$3 billion credit line and sales proceeds from properties.