Date
22 October 2017
Walter Kwok: All's well that ends well. Photo: HKEJ
Walter Kwok: All's well that ends well. Photo: HKEJ

The Big Picture: SUN HUNG KAI DISPUTE

The dispute about splitting the Kwok family’s interest in Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. (00016.HK) among the company’s three brothers has come to an end after Walter Kwok, the eldest of the three brothers, agreed to resign as a non-executive director of the company and in return be granted the same amount of shares that his two younger brothers will get.

The members of the Kwok family have reached an amicable agreement regarding the treatment of the family’s interests, according to a press release emailed on Tuesday.

Kwong Siu-hing, the family matriarch, said Walter Kwok and his family have received the same entitlement to shares in the property giant as his brothers and their families, according to the statement. Despite his resignation, Walter Kwok voiced confidence in the company’s continued growth and profitability, while the Kwok family expressed appreciation for his contribution to the company and wish him success in his future endeavours.

Observers said the dispute’s settlement may help support Sun Hung Kai’s share price as it has cleared the uncertainties over the company’s management. Also, it will create more room for Walter Kwok to develop his own businesses, which include Straits Construction Investment (Holdings) Ltd., a property developer jointly owned by him, Shimao Property Holdings Ltd. (00813.HK) and some Taiwanese investors.

Straits Construction Investment is expected to invest 40 billion yuan (US$6.34 billion) in two projects this year, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported on Jan. 11. The project in Fuzhou in southeast China’s Fujian province covers 760,000 square meters, while another project in Nanjing in east China’s Jiangsu province has 341,000 square meters, with each costing 20 billion yuan, the report said.

In October 2010, Kwong announced that Sun Hung Kai co-chairmen Thomas Kwok and Raymond Kwok would share in the family’s interest in the company while Walter Kwok would be excluded from the stake.

In May 2012, Walter Kwok was arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in connection with an investigation into an offence or offences suspected to have been committed under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, and has been released on bail. Two months later, the ICAC laid down charges against Thomas and Raymond Kwok, along with Rafael Hui, a former chief secretary in the Hong Kong government, for alleged bribery and misconduct in public office.

Shanghai, Shenzhen ‘land kings’ point to market heat, paper says

Record prices set at land auctions in Shanghai and Shenzhen point to rising heat in the property market ahead of the Lunar New Year, the China Securities Journal reported Wednesday, citing the bidding results. New “land kings”, or blocks attracting record-setting prices, were crowned when a plot in Shanghai sold Tuesday for 10.1 billion yuan (US$1.67 billion), more than double the starting price, and another in Shenzhen went for 13.4 billion yuan. Some analysts said the rise in prices was fueled by cash-rich developers who are optimistic about the market, the report said.

– Contact HKEJ at [email protected]

JP/CG

 

 

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