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Property News Weekly Digest
〈The Straits Times , February 8, 2020〉Tycoon Stanley Ho's youngest son buys HK$500 million home

When Mr Mario Ho's elder sister Sabrina got engaged to Harvard student Thomas Xin in June last year, she was reportedly given a HK$500 million (S$89.4 million) property.

Now, news has surfaced that Mr Ho, the youngest son of Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho, has bought a HK$500 million home in Deep Water Bay, one of Hong Kong's prime property locales.

According to The Standard portal, the younger Ho bought the home at 2 Island Road last month when he turned 25.

The Ho family previously bought two properties at 2 Island Road. It is not known if one of them was gifted to Ms Sabrina Ho, 29, who runs a company promoting arts and culture in Macau. There is talk that Mr Mario Ho's mother paid for the purchase, though she fended off media queries by saying the focus for now should be on the coronavirus situation in Hong Kong, where one death has been recorded so far.

〈The Standard, February 7, 2020〉BOC Hong Kong (2388) has rolled out five relief measures to mitigate the financial woes of companies and individuals amid an economic slowdown and the novel coronavirus outbreak.

This comes as retailers like cosmetics chain Sa Sa International (0178) saw Lunar New Year retail sales falling nearly 77 percent in Hong Kong and Macau.

The bank said property mortgage clients can apply before June 30 for a principal moratorium of up to 12 months if they have made repayments for one year or above and have normal credit records over the past 12 months. Other measures include preferential loans for small and medium enterprises, financial support for producers of epidemic prevention supplies, extensions of insurance grace periods and discounts in electronic service fees.

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) said it is looking at various programs to help relieve some pressure from clients and help them get through the difficult time, and that more details will be announced in due course.

〈Asian Post, February 7, 2020〉Lee Shau-kee, founder of Henderson Land Development, has replaced Li Ka-shing as Hong Kong's richest person in the annual wealth ranking of Forbes magazine, with the fortunes of nearly half the city's billionaires falling amid the shrinking economy.

The net worth of Lee - also known as Uncle Four - climbed 1.33 percent to US$30.4 billion (HK$237.12 billion), US$1 billion more than Li's wealth, according to the 2020 Forbes Hong Kong Rich List.

It was not all good news for Lee.

His brother, Lee Siu-lun - founder of Siu On Realty - died on January 25 at 98, according to an obituary posted by his family yesterday.

Li, who topped the ranking every year since it was launched 12 years ago, saw his net worth fall 8.13 percent to US$29.4 billion, pushing him down to second place.

Lee, 92, stepped down as chairman of Henderson in May last year and was succeeded by his sons Peter Lee Ka-kit and Martin Lee Ka-shing.

〈The Standard, February 6, 2020〉The secondary market saw fewer and cheaper deals as property owners cut prices amid the escalating coronavirus outbreak in the city.

A three-room unit at the benchmark project, Tai Koo Shing in Quarry Bay, sized 698 square feet, changed hands for HK$10 million, or HK$14,514 per-sq-ft, after HK$2 million was cut from the asking price.

Whampoa Garden, Hung Hom, where Hong Kong's first coronavirus casualty lived, has seen no transactions for nearly half a month, and owners are considering reducing prices by 5-10 percent, according to market watchers.

Elsewhere, a flat at South Horizons, Aberdeen Island was able to draw more than a dozen home viewers after lowering the asking price, but no purchase offers. The owner of the 519 sq-ft unit has cut HK$420,000 from the initial asking price to HK$8.08 million, or HK$15,568 per-sq-ft, compared with an asking price of HK$8.3 million last month for a similar unit.

〈The Standard, February 5, 2020〉Wheelock and Company (0020) won the bid for the Lohas Park Phase 12 plot in Tseung Kwan O, and Centaline Property Agency expects prices of completed properties at the project to start from HK$15,000-16,000 per square foot.

MTR Corporation (0066) announced the result yesterday, one day after ending the tender submissions on Tuesday.

Nine developers submitted tenders for Phase 12 of Lohas Park in Tseung Kwan O on Tuesday, including Henderson Land Development (0012), CK Asset (1113) and Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016).

MTRC is asking for a land premium of HK$2.7 billion, or HK$2,835 per square foot, for the project, according to reports.

The per square foot price was 10 percent lower than the land premium of HK$3,194 per sq ft of the phase 11 of Lohas Park, which was won by Sino Land (0083), K Wah International (0173) and China Merchants Land (0978) last April.