Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mega sales flop of HK luxurious apartments under probe

THE Hong Kong government said it is looking into the cancelled sales of Henderson Land apartments, which have pushed down the developer's shares this week.

Earlier this week, Henderson announced that it would record a loss of HK$734 million (S$130 million) from the cancellation of sales of 20 luxury flats in Hong Kong, which would be reflected in its first-half results. The cancellations included a duplex unit that had fetched a global record price of HK$71,280 per square foot last October.

'Any fraud or deception in property sales is totally unacceptable,' the government said in a statement issued late on Thursday.

The government said it was concerned after only four out of 24 previously announced sales were completed, and it would not tolerate any 'forged non-bona fide transactions'.

Regulatory and law enforcement agencies were looking into and following up on the case, the government said, without elaborating.

Henderson Land said it would cooperate with the probe. 'We welcome the action and will provide all necessary information because we believe this will help us clarify to the public,' said Henderson Land spokeswoman Bonnie Ngan.

On Thursday, Henderson Land vice- chairman Peter KK Lee, son of billionaire Lee Shau Kee, told Reuters that he expected no more sale cancellations here in the near term.

The cancellations led some research houses, such as DBS, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, to either downgrade the stock or lower their price targets. -- Reuters

Source: Business Times, 19 Jun 2010

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