SALES for New World Development Co's World Finance Tower in Lujiazui's central financial centre in Shanghai's Pudong district are expected to start in April next year. Antony Chiu, deputy general manager of New World's joint-venture company in Shanghai, Shanghai New World Construction Development Co, said sale prices would not be less than US$278.80 a square foot. Completion date for the 43-storey tower is April, 1997, but Mr Chiu said sales would start after the consortium had invested 25 per cent of the $100 million total cost. Only half the space in the tower would be for sale and the rest would be used by the Pudong and Shanghai branches of the Construction Bank of China. 'It will be the flagship for the bank's Pudong branch,' Mr Chiu said. He said Shanghai New World paid a 'reasonable' $12 million for a 50-year lease on the 86,100 sq ft site two years ago. Foundation work for the project has begun. When completed the tower will have a floor area of 645,600 sq ft, excluding the ground floor and basement. Mr Chiu said the company would invite tenders from foreign suppliers for construction materials such as marble and granite, and for supply of escalators and air-conditioners. The foreign marble and granite and other items were essential for the special image the company planned for the tower. Such effects were made possible by tax concessions given for developers in Pudong district. A drop in construction material prices also had helped. The Lujiazui finance and trade zone of Pudong has been strongly promoted by the Shanghai municipal government as the future centre of tertiary industry focusing on finance, trade and commerce. Shanghai New World is a joint-venture company with the Construction Bank of China, which holds a 60 per cent stake.