Evergrande boss snaps up Tin Hau penthouse

July 04, 2019 12:02
China Evergrande CEO Xia Haijun bought a penthouse at The Pavilia Hill in Tin Hau for HK$155 million. Photo: HKEJ

Mainland property companies may be slowing down in buying up Hong Kong land, but rich mainlanders continue to snap up luxury homes in the city.

The latest to do so is China Evergrande Group (03333.HK) chief executive Xia Haijun, who bought a penthouse at The Pavilia Hill in Tin Hau for HK$155 million.

That translates to HK$55,000 per square foot, 3 percent higher than the price of the last unsold unit at the New World Development (00017.HK) project, for which the original buyer gave up the down payment two months ago. 

That means Henry Cheng Kar-shun's property arm managed to squeeze more out of the property despite worries that the local home market might cool down following a rather turbulent month in Hong Kong although expectations of a US rate cut could boost the sector.

Anyway, for Xia, who has been running China's leading property developer for 11 years now, the price of the unit is not something to quibble about.

Despite a near 20 percent drop in his remuneration last year, Xia remains one of the country's top money earners with take-home pay of 242 million yuan (US$35.21 million).

And so Xia joins an elite group of mainland top executives, including Tencent’s (00700.HK) Pony Ma and Alibaba’s Jack Ma, who have bought luxury homes in Hong Kong, where they would occasionally drop by to relax and enjoy the fruit of their labor.

Xia is arguably the country's best-paid economist by training. He obtained an MBA in 1998 and a doctorate degree in industrial economics in 2001, both from Jinan University. He has 20 years of experience in property development and management.

Xia is well-known for signing a deal with property magnate and now US President Donald Trump to jointly build a skyscraper that would have been one of the tallest in China back in 2008. However, the plan didn't work out because China Evergrande, at the time of its initial public offering, backed out, citing uncertain market conditions.

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EJ Insight writer