SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5
HENDERSON Land has bought an office tower in Yau Ma Tei for $920 million, an average of $8,106 per square foot. The 23-storey property is at 555 Nathan Road and has a site area of 7,410 sq ft and a gross floor area of 113,500 sq ft. It was completed in early 1988. The annual rate of return is estimated to be 4.89 per cent. A spokesman for Henderson Land says that because the building is only six years old, Henderson will retain the property for long-term investment purposes. It has been reported that therewere a number of developers competing to acquire the property, including Chinachem and Nan Fung. - ECONOMIC JOURNAL RUMOURS have abounded in the market recently that Hongkong Land has sold Swire House. A spokesman for the group declined to comment. Rumour has it that the buyer was Evergo, but this was denied by Joseph Lau, Evergo's chairman. Earlier, it was rumoured that Cheung Kong Holdings and other major consortiums intended to acquire Swire House. In the past few years, rumours have persistently circulated about consortiums wanting to acquire Swire House, Alexandra House and Exchange Square III. - ECONOMIC JOURNAL A SENIOR executive of Cathay Pacific says that, following the lifting of the US trade embargo on Vietnam, it is expecting to see air transport between Hong Kong and Vietnam increase markedly. The spokesman adds that Cathay will step up studies, which are being conducted with the Vietnamese national carrier, regarding an increase in the number of flights between Hong Kong and Vietnam as well as greater numbers of seats on each flight. Elsewhere, US air carriers, such as Northwest Airlines and UAL, will apply for routes serving the US and Vietnam. The Cathay executive says that as its flights serving Hong Kong and Vietnam have only a small percentage (four per cent to five per cent) of American passengers and even if the US airlines do open routes serving Vietnam, it will not have a major long-term impact on Cathay's operations. - ECONOMIC JOURNAL HANG Seng Bank informed the stock exchange that HSBC has increased its stake in Hang Seng from 61.8 per cent to 63.25 per cent. The number of shares HSBC owns in Hang Seng has increased to more than 1.22 billion. - ECONOMIC TIMES SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 6 PAULINE Wong, a director of Hysan Development, says more than 60 per cent of the total space in Lee Garden Square in Causeway Bay, which is expected to be completed in October, has been rented. The average rental price set for the property is between $50 and $60 per square foot. Ms Wong says there is only a small amount of space remaining for rental and she expects the property to be fully rented by the time construction is completed. The property has a total floor area of 316,000 sq ft. - ECONOMIC JOURNAL EMPEROR Group will develop a commercial property in Chongqing. It will have a site area of 215,000 sq ft and a total developable floor area of 2.26 million sq ft. The project requires an investment of $1 billion and will be developed in three to four phases. Tse Wai-chuen, senior manager of Emperor Properties, says the project will be developed in co-operation with an established Sino-foreign joint venture. He says the site will be developed into a commercial property comprising an office tower and a hotel. Mr Tse says the first phase of the project, requiring an investment of $200 million, is expected to be completed in September 1995. - ECONOMIC JOURNAL RONNIE Chan, chairman of Hang Lung, says that since the introduction of the company's preferential home-buying plan, $2 billion of the company's capital has been frozen. The plan provides preferential mortgage lending for home buyers. - ECONOMIC JOURNAL MONDAY, FEBRUARY 7 GUO Yingquan, managing director of Shougang Grand, says the company has disposable capital reserves of more than $1 billion if properties it can sell are included in the calculation. The money will be used to establish a shopping centre chain in major cities in China; for strategic investments; and financial services. Mr Guo says half of Shougang Grand's future operations will be in property development with a focus on mainland shopping centres and commercial properties. Shougang Grand's mainland parents have established a joint working panel to study the options for retaining mainland land reserves for future development by Shougang Grand. Six or seven locations have been selected for detailed feasibility studies. - ECONOMIC JOURNAL CHAM Wai-sing, managing director of Hoi Sing Holdings, says the company has signed a letter of intent to invest in two toll roads in Xinhui. The project calls for a total investment of $400 million. Hoi Sing is to own a 65 per cent stake and the two toll roads are expected to be completed within two years and should give Hoi Sing some land development rights. Mr Cham says Hoi Sing is looking to make a number of investments in China and has already received construction contracts from mainland companies.
- ECONOMIC JOURNAL PAULINE Wong, a director of Hysan Development, says the company's development sites in Wangfujing, Beijing, comprising shopping centres and office blocks, will be expanded to cover four million sq ft. Meanwhile, site preparation for a commercial and residential development project in Shanghai is expected to be completed by the end of March and units are expected to be offered at the end of the year. It will be the first mainland residential project offered for sale by Hysan. - MING PAO