Sun Hung Kai Properties, controlled by the Kwok brothers, took advantage of the property stock rally yesterday by placing HK$11.1 billion worth of new shares after the market closed. Goldman Sachs has been hired as a bookrunner. SHKP was selling 72.5 million new shares at HK$150.20 to HK$153.50 each, according to a sale document obtained by institutional investors. The offering represented a discount of up to 6.07 per cent to the stock's close of HK$159.90. The placement came after the Hang Seng Properties Index surged 6.2 per cent to a nine-year high of 39,345.69 points. Among the stocks, Sun Hung Kai gained 4.1 per cent while Cheung Kong (Holdings) surged 8.93 per cent, Hang Lung Properties jumped 8.54 per cent and Sino Land rose 3.25 per cent. SHKP shares have risen 22 per cent since the start of the month, compared with a 16.3 per cent gain in the Hang Seng Index. In early morning trade, the stock hit a historical high of HK$168. Sources expressed surprise at the timing of the placement after the local market closed and during European trading. Last year, SHKP tapped the equity market for HK$7.8 billion through a top-up placement. 'The deal has been sounded out in the market for more than a month but I doubt the firm needed fresh cash,' said a fund manager at a Japanese company. Hong Kong's largest developer by market value plans to invest 33 billion yuan in the mainland over the next three years to raise its investment from the current 17 per cent of total assets to 30 per cent. Its mainland investments now total 44 billion yuan. Chairman Walter Kwok Ping-sheung last month said SHKP aimed to enter 10 key mainland cities while continuing to invest in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. He did not disclose the target cities. 'Mainland demand for housing has been growing fast because of rising personal savings and rapid urbanisation. Therefore, we have great confidence in the prospects for the mainland property market,' Mr Kwok said.