China's second-richest man shrugs off the crackdown on property in Shanghai China's second-richest man, property tycoon Hui Wing-mau, believes tighter government and bank regulations on property projects arising from the recent Chau Chin-ngai scandal will not affect his multi-billion dollar property business in Shanghai. The chairman of Hong Kong-listed Shimao Group came under the spotlight after the government started reviewing Shanghai's land transfers over the past two years because he has several high-end residential and hotel projects in the city. 'There shouldn't be any problem. We bid most of our land from auction. There have always been enough regulations,' he said at the groundbreaking ceremony of the company's Shanghai North Bund Hotel in the Hongkou district of Pudong. The hotel, worth one billion yuan (HK$937 million), is part of the North Bund revamp project in the Hongkou district. Mr Hui's company struck a deal with the district government in March last year to turn it into a commercial, residential and tourism zone. Land and redevelopment settlement costs were estimated to be about 500 million yuan. The 100,000-square-metre site is a land transfer subject to review. However, Hongkou district mayor Cheng Guang said the city government had just begun checking and reviewing the past two years' land transfer agreements. 'But investigation is merely investigation. It doesn't necessarily imply that it is problematic,' he said at the groundbreaking ceremony. Mr Cheng said that in principle all land should be sold through auction, but at certain times the government should be able to have land transfer agreements with developers because these companies had to be aware of city planning programmes. 'Price is not the only issue sometimes. We have to find experienced and quality developers,' he said. Mr Cheng said that although Shimao did not bid for the North Bund project through auction, the company had paid the market price. 'Shimao got this piece of land because it offered the highest price among all interested developers. 'Back then it was a market price. But because land prices have gone up it appears to be cheap by today's standards,' he said. On top of the government's review, banks reacted by raising the minimum project cost from 20 to 30 per cent put down by developers before making loans and discouraged pre-sales. 'Tightening up lending policies would have little impact on Shanghai's property market. Bigger developers would not suffer much. Less than 20 per cent of our capital comes from bank loans. 'I don't think banks would give us a harder time because there's a change in the policy.'