Developers say they have not heard about "tycoon meetings"

Finance | 20 Sep 2021 9:58 pm

Developers said they have not heard about Beijing officials meeting property tycoons in order to ask them to do more to solve the housing problem. 

Their reaction came after Hong Kong shares closed at their lowest level in 11 months on Monday, dragged down by the property sector.

In a Reuters last week, it was said that the central government met with local tycoons, asking them to do more to help solve the financial hub's potentially destabilizing housing shortage.

Beijing officials delivered the message in closed meetings this year, Reuters reported, quoting three major developers and a Hong Kong government adviser. During the meetings, Beijing reportedly told the tycoons it will no longer tolerate “monopolizing behavior”. 

Stewart Leung Chi-kin, chairman of The Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong, said he never heard about Beijing meeting members of the association.

He said members maintained communications with the government to discuss how to solve the problem of high property prices. But it is difficult to solve the problem in the short term, he said.

Sun Hung Kai Properties also said it did not receive any information about such meetings between Beijing and property tycoons.

The developer said it did not agree with monopoly, and that it is cooperating with the government in the Land Sharing Pilot Scheme and construction of transitional housing.

It plans to increase investment to facilitate Hong Kong's inclusion into national development.

Separately, a Morgan Stanley report estimated that property price could plunge 20 percent by 2022 if the government dramatically increases annual housing supply from 35,000 to 100,000.

Without such increase, it projected that property price to go up nine percent and five percent respectively this year and next.
Hong Kong shares closed at their lowest level in 11 months as a plunge in beleaguered property developer China Evergrande Group led other stocks in the sector lower.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index closed down 3.34 percent, its worst percentage decline in nearly two months, and its lowest close since late-October, dragged down by the property sector. (Staff and Reuters)



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