Nine mainland property tycoons have arrived in Taiwan for a four-day visit, fuelling expectations of a 100 per cent growth in property transactions this year. The tycoons, led by Liu Changle, chairman of the Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television group, who also has major investments in property development on the mainland, said yesterday that they found the market potential in Taiwan high compared with other areas. 'Of the property market within the Asia-Pacific region and the greater China area, Taiwan's has the highest potential,' Mr Liu said. He described their trip to Taiwan as a 'fact-finding visit' to explore market opportunities and to find out what they could do in Taiwan - including planning, design and management - given the relatively well-developed property industry. Asked if the trip had anything to do with Ma Ying-jeou being elected the island's leader, Mr Liu said cross-strait economic relations were at a crucial point following the ice-breaking trip to the Boao economic forum by vice-president-elect Vincent Siew Wan-chang. 'Many policies and opportunities are in the planning stage,' he said, referring to more open mainland policy to be adopted after Mr Ma takes office on May 20. Li Silian of R&F Properties, another major real estate group on the mainland, said Taiwan used to be an economic miracle in Asia. 'I am looking for investment possibilities in Taiwan,' he said. Pan Shiyi , of Soho China, stopped short of saying whether he had any investment plans in Taiwan. 'They say the snacks in Taiwan taste great. I want to try some of the local snacks and experience living here,' he said. The visit by the tycoons, whose combined wealth exceeds HK$12.87 billion, and the prospect that they will invest in Taiwan have raised hopes of a big property boom on the island. Taiwan's property business has rallied since Mr Ma, of the mainland-friendly Kuomintang, won the presidential election on March 22. However, property shares plunged by 7 per cent - the maximum daily limit - yesterday as investors took profits following more than three weeks of increases. Mr Ma has promised to engage the mainland and normalise cross-strait economic ties as part of his efforts to revitalise the island's economy. His plan includes allowing mainland businessmen to invest in the local property market. The pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, however, has criticised Mr Ma's plan to open the local property market for mainland investments, saying it would encourage speculation and increase property prices. As a result, they say, ordinary people will be unable to afford to buy homes. Analysts and property operators, however, said the ultimate purpose of the opening was to encourage more investment in Taiwan - thereby helping to improve the economy and making it easier for people to buy houses. The mainland tycoons are expected to focus on commercial property investments.