Hong Kong mall operator The Link (00823.HK) aims to expand in mainland China, but there is a company there with the same Chinese name.
To avoid any confusion, The Link management plans to change the group’s name, am730 Post reported.
Sources told the newspaper that the group will change its name in the third quarter. However, no consensus has been reached on the new name.
The Link took over from the government 180 retail and car park facilities in public housing estates in 2005.
The group has been actively expanding in recent years. It has spent around HK$3.1 billion (US$400 million) to acquire three private shopping malls in Tseung Kwan O and Wong Tai Sin since 2011.
In January, The Link made its first foray into property development by teaming up with Nan Fung Group. The pair bought a large commercial site in Kwun Tong for HK$5.86 billion.
The company in March bought EC Mall in Beijing for 2.5 billion yuan (US$400 million), its first footprint in China.
Castor Pang Wai-sun, head of research at Core Pacific- Yamaichi International, believes The Link is making a wise move by changing its name as it would send out a clear message that its business is no longer confined to Hong Kong.
Although the group would face new risks by expanding into the mainland shopping mall business, Pang is confident that it could handle the new challenge well given its experience in mall management.
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