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Hong Kong property

Macau casino heiress pays HK$900 million for Peak mansion in Asia’s second-costliest property

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 July, 2018, 8:22pm
UPDATED : Monday, 30 July, 2018, 4:05pm

Pansy Ho Chiu-king, a daughter and heiress of Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho, is believed to have bought the second-most expensive home in Asia, splashing out HK$900 million (US$115 million) on a mansion in one of Hong Kong’s most exclusive addresses.

Ho is the eldest of five children between Stanley Ho and his second wife Lam King Yin.

She is also the executive chairman and managing director of Shun Tak Holdings, the listed property, transport, hospitality and investment conglomerate founded by her father.

Macau casino heiress Pansy Ho’s wild past firmly behind her as she presides over multibillion empire from The Peak

The recent recovery in Macau’s casino sector has boosted the fortunes of the 55-year-old billionaire. Ho, who has a major shareholding in MGM China, ranks No 16 on the Forbes list of Hong Kong’s 50 richest people, with an estimated fortune of US$4.8 billion. She ranks as the second richest woman in Hong Kong, trailing Kingston Financial Group’s Pollyanna Chu Yuet Wah, with a net worth of US$12 billion, according to Forbes.

Ho been managing director of Shun Tak Holdings since 1999. Aside from property development and hotels, the company operates the TurboJET ferry service between Hong Kong and Macau.

Ho started out as an actress briefly during the 1980s, appearing in a TVB series called Breakthrough. She married Julian Hui in 1991, the son of shipping and property tycoon Hui Sai Fun. The couple divorced in 2000.

Smart Richest International, a holding company that lists two of the younger Ho’s senior employees as directors, is the owner of House 3 at 28 Gough Hill Road on The Peak, according to Land Registry data released on Thursday.

The two directors of Smart Richest, Jeny Lau and Yuen Kin-kei, are both directors at Shun Tak Holdings, the ferry and helicopter service operator of which Pansy Ho is chairman and executive director. Both Lau and Yuen declined to comment when contacted by the South China Morning Post.

The mansion, measuring 5,579 square feet, features a private pool and a garden that spans 7,489 square feet, according to property records.

It is among a cluster of seven properties developed by Richard Li Tzar-kai, the younger son of the city’s wealthiest man, Li Ka-shing. The younger Li sold the entire project in 2004, keeping House 1 for himself as an investment.

“The supply of ultra-luxury houses in such prime locations is few and far between, so when buyers see what they like, they jump,” said Michael So, director of Qfang.com, a local real estate website.

At HK$161,319 per square foot, House 3 would still stand out in the world’s costliest residential market. The top spot in Asia was claimed in 2016 by 15 Gough Hill Road, a 9,212 sq ft mansion that was sold to Shenzhen-based tycoon Chen Hongtian for HK$182,370 per square foot.

“The Peak is still the prime location where wealthy people like to buy houses, not just the local tycoons but also investors from mainland China,” said JLL’s head of Hong Kong research, Denis Ma. “The price is in line with other properties sold on The Peak, where houses very rarely come on the market.”

A week earlier, a development comprising two residential blocks of 12 units at 39 Shouson Hill Road in the south of Hong Kong Island sold for a combined HK$5.93 billion to China Resources Land. The company owns 44.85 million square metres (482 million square feet) of development and investment property in 56 cities including Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing, with core profit of HK$19.2 billion.

House 3 on The Peak was sold through the transfer of shares between two companies that hold it, a transaction that involved a stamp duty equivalent to 0.2 per cent of the sticker price, instead of the normal 15 per cent for corporate buyers. Smart Richest saved itself HK$133 million in duty, paying HK$1.8 million through the shares transfer, instead of the HK$135 million in normal purchases.

Still, some agents say Smart Richest may have overpaid.

“The price is insanely high, considering that it doesn’t even have the best ocean view,” said Ricacorp Properties’ district director George Sze.

Corrects Pansy Ho’s reference in first paragraph of story published earlier

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