SINO Land chairman Robert Ng Chee-siong, one of the most aggressive bidders for sites in town, disclosed yesterday the updated cost of the group's land bank, denying it had paid too much. Despite having paid record-breaking prices for several plots at Government land auctions last year, Mr Ng insisted that the average cost of Sino's Land's was low, with an average accommodation value of $1,660 per square foot. This is in stark contrast to property analysts' claims that Sino has been too aggressive in replenishing its land bank at auctions, paying unexpectedly high prices. The strategy would reduce profit margins and only work well when the property market was strong, analysts said. In 1993, the group joined forces with other companies to acquire two expensive land sites at Lung Ping Road and To Kwa Wan in Kowloon and another costly plot of land in Tai Po. However, Sino director Michael Cheng said the acquisitions would not cause a significant negative impact on the company because Sino Land only took partial interest in the projects. He denied the group owned a high-cost land bank saying the average cost was similar to other property developers, notably Wheelock Properties. Mr Ng was cautious about the mainland's real estate market, which is said to have been hampered by the Chinese Government's economic controls imposed in the second half of last year, when Vice-Premier Zhu Rongji introduced austerity measures to cool down the country's escalating inflation. Sino Land, due to become a blue-chip Hang Seng Index stock in the shake-up next February, now has 10 sites in Xiamen, Fuzhou and Guangzhou. The group has a total development land bank of about 2.7 million sq ft with most in residential development. Beverly Garden, its first residential project in Xiamen, was marketed in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia and its profit is booked for this financial year. However, Mr Ng said the group had no plans to release more mainland developments in the face of the cautious market sentiment. 'Our focus will concentrate on Hong Kong which is believed to be one of the most fastest growing cities worldwide,' Mr Ng said. The group recently has submitted offers to bid for the development contracts of several mammoth property projects in Hong Kong. They include Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation's Hunghom Bay redevelopment and the two real estate developments at Tai Kok Tsui and Tung Chung stations along the new airport railway. Sino had joined forces with China Overseas Development and Far East Organisation, which is a Singaporean property firm privately owned by the Ng family, to bid for the giant Tung Chung airport railway property development contract in Hong Kong. Mr Ng said Nan Fung Development recently joined the consortium, holding a 20 per cent interest.