New World dishes out bonuses, halts pay cuts

Business | Winnie Lee 15 Jan 2021

New World Development (0017) has suspended its no-pay leave and pay cut plans and its hotel staff will receive a half-month bonus despite the economy not having recovered.

The news came as vacancy rate for Grade A office space surged to an 11-year high in Hong Kong, with shop rents expected to fall a further 10 percent year-on-year.

Adrian Cheng Chi-kong, chief executive and executive vice-chairman of New World Development, said a half-month bonus will be given to all qualified hotel staff in an internal note. Employees with a monthly salary of less than HK$24,000 will receive a discretionary bonus of not less than HK$12,000.

In the primary market, Nan Fung's LP10 in Lohas Park received only 130 checks for its first batch of 179 units, as of 6pm yesterday. The homes have an average selling price of HK$15,800 per square foot.

Wharf (0004) is expected to upload the sales brochure of the residential project, 77/79 Peak Road at the Peak by today at the earliest.

The developer expects to open the development for viewing next week. The project offers eight houses, of which six of will be available for sale and two of them for rent.

Separately, mainland developer Centralcon Properties is planning to launch its first project in Hong Kong at the beginning of the year, offering 1,335 units in a residential project in Au Pui Wan Street in Sha Tin.

The four-block project is waiting for presale consent.

In the secondary market, "Shop King" Tang Shing-bor sold a 28,439-sq-ft street shop in Sai Kung Garden for HK$400 million - a loss of HK$38 million - with CBRE expecting shop rentals in core districts to fall a further 5 to 10 percent this year. Overall street rents were down 27.2 percent last year - the sharpest annual fall on record.

CBRE also projects Grade A office rents to fall 5 percent this year.

Overall vacancy of grade A office space rose to 9.9 percent last year, the highest since 2009, on top of 8 million square feet of underlying vacant space, CBRE said.



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