Emperor secures $2.6b club loan

Business | Jeannie Tang 13 Mar 2019

Emperor International (0163) executive director Donald Cheung Ping-keung said he was optimistic about the luxury property market, believing it has recovered a lot, and said the overall outlook depended on the second quarter performance.

He saw improvements in current transaction volumes and prices, compared to the last quarter and expected the market correction may come to an end.

Meanwhile, Emperor International has signed a 5-year unsecured club loan facility agreement amounting to HK$2.6 billion with eight major banks, including Bank of East Asia (0023), Hang Seng Bank (0011), HSBC and OCBC Wing Hang Bank. The proceeds of the club loan will be used for general working capital purposes. Chief financial officer Benson Chu said the interest rate for this club loan was higher than the 2017 loan since local banks raised the interest rate once last year, but it was still lower than the rate of issuing bonds. Emperor had signed a HK$2.5 billion club loan with nine banks in 2017.

Cheung said the group's luxury project, Peak Castle, in Tuen Mun has sold the 8th unit, while the interest rate hike had little impact on luxury home buyers. Besides Peak Castle, he added the group will progressively launch two more luxury projects in Mid-levels and Tuen Mun.

He said Brexit would have little effect on its British business since the country has a strong retail market.

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