Some of the 5,700 Hong Kong people who invested in languishing Guangdong property projects may never get their money back, despite official intervention, according to local NPC delegates. The 17 unfinished commercial and residential projects, estimated to involve about $600 million, are in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan, Dongguan, Huizhou, Zhuhai and Zhongshan. Most were developed by Hong Kong and mainland companies during Guangdong's mid-1990s property boom. But bankruptcy and fraud caused many developers to suspend their projects. Seven Hong Kong National People's Congress deputies met Guangdong Deputy Governor Xu Lide this week to discuss the problem. One of the deputies, Ma Lik, said: 'Mr Xu is very concerned about the problem and has ordered the relevant authority to investigate and find solutions. 'Investigation reports will be submitted to the provincial government by October 10 and then the deputies will be briefed.' Mr Ma said Guangdong had already implemented measures to tackle the problem, including bringing in new developers to finish the projects and a quicker judicial process for settlements. Of the 17 construction sites that remain unfinished, settlements in the form of either a partial refund or flat-for-flat compensation are planned for nine. Investors in the remaining projects may not be fully compensated as the developers have disappeared with the down-payments. 'In these cases, criminal investigations should be launched and the mainland authority should ask Interpol to track the developers,' Mr Ma said. Ip Kwok-him, another deputy, warned that if the problem was not properly dealt with it would damage investor confidence in the mainland and affect its image. Deputy David Chu Yu-lin said the central government was concerned about the problem and had used its influence to provide more bank loans for developers to complete their projects. He said Guangdong now required developers to deposit down-payments in a government-supervised account to prevent any illegal use of the money.