Land deposits lead the way in Mingtiandi’s roundup of real estate headlines today with the news that the Hong Kong Lands Department is doubling deposit requirement on government land sales to HK$50 million ($6.3 million) after a nervous buyer backed out of a recent purchase.
In other news around the region, a Hong Kong developer blames falling profits on mainland housing market curbs, while Beijing moves to stop loans being illegally used for property investment.
Elsewhere, a boycott of Japanese goods in South Korea is having an impact on a well known retailer, while a US jeweller is planning to open stores in India as China loses its shine.
The Lands Department said on Thursday it is doubling the deposit for government sites put up for tender to as much as HK$50 million ($6.3 million) after a buyer walked away from a winning bid of HK$11.1 billion for a plot of prime land in June.
The rule is effective immediately and the deposit would apply to all land sales with an estimated value of HK$400 million or more. Deposits for sites valued between HK$100 million to less than HK$400 million will range from HK$10 million to HK$40 million. Read more>>
Hong Kong-listed Wharf Holdings, a leading developer in China with RMB 100 billion ($14.2 billion) worth of assets, said mounting curbs in the mainland’s housing market could seriously affect its profitability, as it posted a 12 percent drop in first-half underlying profit.
The company’s underlying profit stood at HK$2.24 billion ($285 million) for the six months ended 30 June versus HK$2.53 billion a year earlier. Read more>>
China’s banking and insurance regulator has launched a nationwide bank inspection to determine if loans have been used illegally to fund property investment, to further clamp down on speculation in the country’s real estate market.
The checks will be made at some commercial banks in 32 cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, as well as provincial capitals like Chengdu and Changchun, according to a notice issued by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC). Read more>>
Higher fair-value gains on its investment properties gave a lift to earnings for UOL Group (UOL) in its second quarter ended 30 June, outweighing lower revenue recognition from its development projects and higher finance expenses.
Net profit for the developer and hotel operator shot up 48.1 percent from the previous year. Read more>>
A boycott on Japanese goods in South Korea has had an impact on casual clothing chain Uniqlo’s sales in the country, the company said on Friday, highlighting the widening economic hit from a diplomatic row over Tokyo’s wartime role.
Japan’s decision last month to tighten controls on exports of materials that South Korea uses to make semiconductors and smartphone displays has prompted a consumer backlash in Korea, with consumers boycotting Japanese products from beer to pens. Read more>>
American jewellery retailer Tiffany is linking up with Reliance Industries, the conglomerate run by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, to launch new stores in India.
Through a joint venture announced on 7 August, Tiffany and Reliance Brands – the group’s retail unit – plan to open shops in Delhi as early as this year and Mumbai in 2020. Read more>>