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HK housing firms eye Shanghai market
( 2003-09-25 16:03) (Shanghai Star)

Hong Kong companies are cashing in on the booming economy in the Shanghai region, targeting the increasing number of nouveau riches in the city.

On October 3-6, Li Ka-shing's Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd will hold a roadshow at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre of its luxury Hong Kong Harbourfront Landmark, a 73-storey building with a commanding view of Victoria Harbour.

Each apartment, from 176 to 237 square metres, will sell for at least HK$15 million, averaging HK$97,000 per square metre.

Rich Chinese business people and people who work overseas are the target clients of the roadshow, according to an executive of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd.

Just a week ago, five Hong Kong property giants, including New World Development, Sino Group and Wharf Estate, have teamed up in promoting their joint Parc Palais property project to the local media.

Averaging over HK$53,000 per square metre, Parc Palais is located at King's Park in Kowloon and also has an ocean view.

With the loosening of restrictions of mainland travellers to Hong Kong and the talk about allowing mainland investment immigrants to Hong Kong, the property market in Hong Kong is picking up and the promotion is aimed at those mainlanders wishing to invest in Hong Kong's properties, according to Barbara Ho, New World's director of marketing and sales.

Another reason for many Hong Kong firms' mainland promotions is because the confidence of Hong Kong's local buyers has been hit hard after housing prices nose-dived 40 to 60 per cent in the past five years, according to a sales agent for a Hong Kong property developer.

Now that residents in nine mainland cities are allowed to visit Hong Kong as individual travellers, the wholly Hong Kong government-owned MTR Corp, the operator of Hong Kong's Metro system, also arrived in Shanghai last week, launching special discount MTR card packages to mainland travellers. The card, only available to mainlanders, also includes airport express, free phone cards and coupons at shopping centres.

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