Wheelock to sell HK building for record RM4.9b


Hong Kong • Mainland Chinese company, LVGEM (China) Real Estate Investment Co, will purchase a building from Wheelock & Co for HK$9 billion (RM4.86 billion), setting a record price per sq ft for a  commercial building in Hong Kong’s Kwun Tong area.

A sum of HK$788 million has already been paid for the purchase, which is slated for completion by Dec 29, according to a Wheelock statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Wednesday. A HK$4.6 billion payment will be made at the time, with the balance due in instalments to Wheelock subsidiary, Wharf (Holdings) Ltd, the company said.

It is the second-most expensive real estate deal in Asia this year, after CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Singapore’s biggest office landlord, agreed to buy BlackRock Inc’s Asia Square Tower 2 for S$2.1 billion (RM6.33 billion) in September, according to Sigrid Zialcita, MD of research for Asia Pacific at Cushman & Wakefield Inc.

The deal by LVGEM is the latest case of mainland buyers purchasing entire buildings in Hong Kong. Known as 8 Bay East, the building enjoys a harbourfront view and is adjacent to properties bought from Wheelock by Citigroup Inc in 2014 for HK$5.4 billion, and Manulife Financial Corp for HK$4.5 billion in 2013.

The sale works out to be about US$1,900 (RM8,018) per sq ft, unprecedented for the district, according to Dorothy Chow, regional director at Jones Lang LaSalle.