Market sentiment doesn’t faze Wing Tai Properties

Developer will forge ahead with luxury building in Hong Kong and serviced flats in Shanghai

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2014, 3:13pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 April, 2014, 3:09am

Wing Tai Properties is unworried by market sentiment in Hong Kong, with plans to sell new projects in the city and launch more serviced apartments in the region.

Karen Li Kan Fung-ling, the firm's director of corporate development, said it does not fret over government measures to cool down the property market.

"I am very optimistic that there will always be someone who would like to buy property. As long as you have a project in a good location, the buyers will come," Li said.

This year, Wing Tai plans to market a luxury residential project at Ho Man Tin, with 173 units occupying a total floor area of 153,510 square feet.

Another new luxury residential project will be sold in Shanghai, with a total floor area of 207,449 sq ft. Li said she believed there would be fewer than 100 units.

Hong Kong-listed Wing Tai Properties is part of Singapore developer Wing Tai Holdings, which was founded in 1963 and was listed there in 1989.

Besides being a developer of residential and office buildings, Wing Tai Properties also runs hotels and serviced apartments and provides management services for other companies under its wholly owned hospitality arm Lanson Place Hospitality Management.

Lanson Place will launch a new serviced apartment block with 150 units occupying a total floor area of 241,727 sq ft in Kuala Lumpur this summer, and a tower in Shanghai with 79 serviced apartments covering 133,924 sq ft.

The company's Lanson Place Hotel in Causeway Bay opened in 2005.

"The development of hospitality services is an ideal way to diversify our business," said Li, who is also executive director of Lanson Place.

"The contribution from the hospitality arm to the group is not large now, but it will grow in the future. The number of regional travellers and expatriates working in the region will increase with the economic growth in the region. This will add demand for our boutique hotels and serviced apartments."

In the six months to the end of June last year, hospitality investment and management contributed HK$71 million in revenue to Wing Tai Properties, up 3 per cent from the same period in 2012. Property investment contributed revenue of HK$260 million, down 3 per cent.

In this week's C-Suite interview, Li shares her views on the market outlook, how to deal with down times and why so few women rise to the top at property firms.