New World Strategic Investment, the investment arm controlled by the family of Cheng Yu-tung, plans to invest in the property markets of the United States, Europe and Japan with local investment partners. Adrian Cheng Chi-kong, managing director at New World, said yesterday the company's investments would be increased to HK$10 billion within seven years. It invested about HK$3 billion in various projects on the mainland in October last year. 'Prices of properties and companies in the US, Europe and Japan have dropped to an attractive level after the global financial crisis. Properties in Japan offer a rental yield of 7 per cent,' he said. 'We will look for investment properties in Japan.' The company is looking for local partners, such as private equity funds, to co-invest in the markets. 'We hope we can finalise a deal in the second half of this year,' Mr Cheng said. Separately, he said New World Department Store China would reposition its 33 mainland department stores this year. The stores would be classified according to whether they were focused on 'fashion style' or 'living style', instead of high-end or middle. The rebranding programme included the store design, VIP loyalty programmes and new local and international designer brands. The revamping of its department store at Huai Hai Road in Shanghai had already begun. Mr Cheng said the turnover of the mainland stores recovered in December and January. However, he believed the market would be challenging after the Lunar New Year. Shares in New World Department Store China dropped 1.71 per cent to close at HK$2.87 yesterday. In Kowloon, K11, a new shopping centre in Tsim Sha Tsui developed by New World Development, has leased more than 40 per cent of the total floor area. The mall will be opened by the end of this year.