THE restriction on developers' movements gave rise to more disciplined proceedings at the public auction yesterday, apparently without affecting bidding interest. Both Tai Po residential sites on offer attracted strong bidding from developers and fetched good prices - particularly the bigger lot, which was taken for a price well ahead of market expectations. Developers attending the auction did not complain about the new arrangements on auction proceedings, while some suggested the arrangements had actually improved the order of proceedings. Henry Fan, managing director of CITIC Pacific, one of the bidders, said the new arrangements were good, and the auction was more orderly than in the past. George Wong, chairman of Hong Kong Parkview Group, which led a consortium to buy the bigger lot, also welcomed the new arrangements. He said the proceedings were better controlled, allowing bidders to concentrate on bidding. Nick Brooke, senior partner of Brooke Hillier Parker, said the auction proceedings were more disciplined, but this had not affected the auction's results. He said the auction went extremely well, with aggressive bidding, although it started on a slightly nervous note. Mr Brooke, a member of the three-man panel appointed to review land auction proceedings, said the auction showed the system was working well. Government auctioneers were also pleased with the new arrangements and with the auction results. Prior to the start of the auction, they told the audience the auction was no different to previous ones. They also indicated to the developers that the hammer would go down somewhat faster than it used to, in an apparent bid to control the pace of proceedings. However, analysts said because the size of the lots and investment in them was smaller than the Fanling auction on May 26, one did not see a repetition of a united front of developers to buy land, and that this would have occurred even without the new auction proceedings. In the last auction at Fanling more than 10 developers teamed up to buy two residential sites. This aroused a public outcry and triggered a review on auction proceedings. The new guidelines on auction proceedings, including seating arrangements, were announced last week. The new rules state there should be no movement in the auction hall during the proceedings. As a result, developers are restricted from walking around the auction hall to discuss bidding as they had done on previous occasions. Yesterday was the first time the new arrangements were applied, and they were strictly observed by all participants. The auction attracted a number of big developers, but Cheung Kong (Holdings) and New World Development, big players involved in the consortium buying land in the last auction, did not turn up. Other big players - Sun Hung Kai Properties, Hang Lung Development and Sino Land - though present, did not participate in the bidding. Hang Lung's executives left after the sale of the first site. Nan Fung Development's chairman, Chen Din-hwa, also left before the sale of the second lot ended. Most developers were apparently not in the mood for joint ventures yesterday, as reflected by their scattered seating positions in the auction hall - with the exception of Lai Sun Development, Hong Kong Parkview and China Travel Service (Holdings). The heads of these three companies sat together for bidding and jointly bought the bigger lot in Tai Po for $890 million.