The Group’s third commercial development in Hong Kong is in Kwai Chung Town, an industrial area in the New Territories.
The Group had invested in 14 office units in Guangzhou, of which 9 have been sold to-date. It intends to exit from the China real estate market because capital controls in the country make it difficult for foreign investors to repatriate retained earnings.
Focus on Japan
“We intend to focus on Japan, where we are doing well. Our management is largely Japanese. Many of our offices and business associates are in Japan,” said Mr Lim.
Below is an excerpt of the questions raised at the meeting and Mr Lim's replies.
Q: How are Hong Kong’s property market cooling measures affecting you?
The property market cooling measures are only applicable to the residential market. Commercial property prices in Hong Kong are still rising.
It is very difficult to acquire land in Hong Kong as land can only be acquired through tenders in government land sales. We successfully won this bid because it happened shortly after the Brexit referendum when the bidding sentiment was generally cautious. We submitted a bid price that was slightly higher than market expectations.
|52-week range||98c - $1.285|
|Market cap||$47 million|
|Data: Company / Bloomberg|
Q: Do you intend to completely divest all your 3 Hong Kong development projects?
Yes. We invested about S$10 million (US$6.4 million) in the Kwai Chung project and expect it to generate strong cash flows over the next 3 years. There is high demand for office space in Hong Kong but it is difficult to acquire land there.
Q: As a Japanese company, did you face problems with Sino-Japanese relations in China?
For us, it is all about business. Sino-Japanese relations are only strained in government politics.
Q: How is AirBnB affecting your hotel business?
Our hotels are business hotels each with 100 to 200 rooms situated in the different industrial areas in Japan. For example, we have a hotel next to Nissan’s factory. So, we have a contract with Nissan that offers accommodation at corporate rates.
While we target business travellers, the growth of tourism has led to an increase in the number of tourists staying in our hotels.