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  • Connie Tsum

20220524 Hot News of Hong Kong

Together with its global fund manager partners, Lofter Group is paying over HK$1.5 billion ($190 million) to acquire a set of properties at 31-37 Hankow Road in the Kowloon shopping district, with plans to construct a 115,800 square foot (10,7589 square metre) project on the site, the company said in a statement.

“We are pleased to be partnering with BentallGreenOak and Schroders Capital on this strategic real estate acquisition in one of the most core commercial area in Hong Kong,” said Lofter founder and chairperson Carol Chow. “The partnership signifies an excellent synergy bringing together the global horizons of top-tier international private equity and asset management firms and deep local market knowledge and expertise of a reputable local developer.”

Hong Kong customs officers have confiscated more than HK$10 million (US$1.2 million) worth of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products at three of the city’s control points after a ban on alternative smoking items came into effect in April.

Assistant Superintendent Lie Yan-ning of customs’ air cargo search unit said on Tuesday that most of the illicit cigarettes were found hidden in nine parcels at the cargo terminal of Hong Kong International Airport and one consignment at Shenzhen Bay control point.

Lofter and its partners are acquiring the aging properties as Hong Kong’s pandemic restrictions have choked off the flow of visitors which had made Tsim Sha Tsui a shopping mecca. Hong Kong retail sales fell for a second consecutive month in March, according to government figures, and research by Savills shows that rents for shops and mall spaces fell by an average of 5 percent in the city during the first quarter.

Retail Value Emphasised

Before redeveloping the 9,650 square foot commercial site, which is currently occupied by a golf shop and other retail establishments, the three partners will have to gain full control of the buildings, with the announced purchase providing them with majority ownership of the properties.

carol Lofter Group

Lofter founder Carol Chow

Catholic churches in Hong Kong will not hold their annual mass for victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown for the first time in three decades, citing “concerns from frontline colleagues on whether the event would contravene the national security law”.

The Hong Kong Catholic diocese announced its decision on Tuesday, saying: “According to the Catholic faith, we can commemorate the deceased in different ways, holding a mass is of course one way, but just praying for the deceased in private or in small groups will also be very meaningful.”

“The attractive acquisition price can only be achieved by collective sale, which Lofter is very experienced in,” the group’s director of investment management Alvin Leung told Mingtiandi via email. “Our acquisition price is also way below the price of the nearby Ashley Road transaction in 2019,” he added.

Leung indicated that the group has acquired 97 percent ownership in the existing buildings, with a single unit remaining unpurchased. He added that the joint venture has applied for a compulsory sale of the remaining space in the building, which under Hong Kong law, would allow for owners of 80 percent or more in an aging property to force a tender at a market valuation.




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