Tencent founder Pony Ma’s Shek O property quadruples in value

In 2009 Ma paid HK$480 million for the 8,000 sq ft mansion at Big Wave Road, now worth an estimated HK$1.9 billion

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 March, 2017, 6:48pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 March, 2017, 11:39pm

Pony Ma Huateng, the co-founder of Tencent Holdings, is an astute investor.

The online games company he founded 18 years ago and took public in 2004 has produced a staggering return for shareholders of more than 60 times.

His company reported a 43 per cent jump in 2016 profit to a record 41.1 billion yuan (US$5.9 billion.)

Still, there’s at least one investment that Tencent’s shareholders won’t be able to enjoy.

That’s Ma’s private property at 13 Big Wave Road in Shek O, on the southeastern tip of Hong Kong island. That property, which includes an 8,000 square foot (743 square metres) mansion, is valued at HK$1.9 billion (US$245 million), about four times what he paid for it eight years ago.

Ma bought it in 2009 from Wak Kwong Shipping’s chairman George Chao for HK$480 million. He later applied to redevelop the house – visible from the Dragon’s Back hiking trail above Shek O – into a three-storey property with a saleable area of about 19,600 sq ft.

The property had been undergoing renovations for years, and didn’t appear to have been lived in during a recent visit by a reporter from the Post.

Property consultants estimate the house may be worth at least HK$100,000 per square foot, which values it at HK$1.96 billion.

“The prices of super deluxe homes have recorded a significant increase in recent years,” said Allen Wong, a director of Landscope Christie’s International Real Estate. “Prices for these houses at unique locations will certainly increase as there’s a shortage of supply.”

Shek O is no stranger to the rich and famous. Richard Li Tzar-kai, chairman of PCCW and the younger son of Li Ka-Shing, Hong Kong’s richest man, also has an address there.

These premium addresses are so rare that their valuations are like artwork. You simply can’t put a price tag on them
Allen Wong, Landscope Christie’s

The most expensive residential transaction in Hong Kong’s history remains the 9,212 sq ft mansion sold last year to Shenzhen businessman Chen Hongtian for HK$2.1 billion, paid for in cash and through the transfer of a Shenzhen property.

In 2014, Ma paid HK$450 million for a two-storey house on South Bay Road in Repulse Bay from Ho Sai-chu, a former lawmaker and the permanent honorary chairman of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce.

With a saleable area of about 7,294 sq ft, the transaction worked out to about HK$65,122 per sq ft.

Even the earnings of large companies can’t beat the capital gains from investing in luxury homes, said Wong.

“These premium addresses are so rare that their valuations are like artwork,” he said. “You simply can’t put a price tag on them.”