Protests may have brought Hong Kong to a near standstill on Saturday, but events continue to move quickly for the city’s largest property developers as Henderson Land, Sun Hung Kai and CK Asset boss emeritus Li Ka-shing all announced new initiatives late in the week as the government scrambles to ease discontent.
The elder Li, who retired last year at the age of 89, has pledged to donate $128 million to small and medium-sized businesses suffering financial hardship as a result of the protests that have gripped the Asian financial hub, while Henderson Land, which is controlled by the city’s second richest man is offering to loan the government some of its undeveloped plots.
In non-Hong Kong news, the boss of a UK-based serviced office operator, which has more locations than WeWork, says he wants to double the firm’s growth rate, and a measurement of mergers and acquisitions in the region shows deal volume at a five-year low. All this and more is in Mingtiandi’s news roundup today.
Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-shing will donate HK$1 billion ($128 million) to support local small and medium sized businesses, his foundation said on Friday, a move that comes as the city’s economy has been roiled by pro-democracy protests.
Hong Kong tycoons and property developers have come under pressure from Beijing for not doing enough to alleviate housing problems in the Chinese-ruled city. Read more>>
Henderson Land Development, the city’s third-biggest private landowner, said on Friday that it was considering offering 100,000 square feet of farmland in Kam Tin, New Territories, to the government for seven years to build temporary housing to accommodate 10,000 residents.
Henderson Land also said it would donate land in Yuen Long to build youth hostels and other social welfare uses. However, it was not clear how much land it intends to donate for such purposes. Read more>>
WeWork’s largest rival wants to double its growth rate even as the US-based shared office provider grapples with the aftermath of a failed IPO process and a potential cash crunch.
Mark Dixon, chief executive of London-listed IWG said: “It’s about being everywhere — every town, every village . . . We’ve been growing [revenues] at about 12 per cent, 14 per cent. The objective is to double that growth.” The ramping up of IWG’s expansion comes after WeWork, which had expanded rapidly in recent years to become the largest private tenant in London and New York, cancelled its IPO and demoted its chief executive Adam Neumann, leaving the company facing “uncertain liquidity”, according to rating agency Fitch. Read more>>
Mergers and acquisitions in Asia occurred at their slowest pace in five years in the first nine months of 2019 against the backdrop of a global economic slowdown and the ongoing US-China trade war, according to Dealogic.
At the same time, Chinese companies saw a record high for sales of overseas assets at US$40.2 billion in the January-September period and a third consecutive year of declining outbound merger activity, the financial data provider said. Read more>>
Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) has filed an application with the Hong Kong government to increase the capacity of two residential projects by a combined 56 per cent, as the government struggles to increase land supply.
In its application to the Town Planning Board on Friday, SHKP said it plans to increase the number of flats in Yuen Long fourfold to 1,995 units, from 455 large flats, and reduce the average unit size to 484 square feet, from 2,000 sq ft previously. Read more>>
The Cupertino-based tech giant Apple has chosen Mumbai’s Maker Maxity mall, co-owned by Reliance Industries, to open its first company-owned iconic outlet in India, four people familiar with the development said.
Apple leased between 20,000 and 25,000 square feet of space spread over three floors in the mall located in the commercial hub of Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), the sources said. Read more>>