Hong Kong-listed company Goldin Financial Holdings Ltd has decided to forfeit its deposit and walk away from its record land purchase in Hong Kong a day before the legislature’s meeting for the second reading of the controversial extradition bill amendment.
The company issued a statement on Tuesday evening saying the company decided to abandon the Kai Tak Area 4C Site 4 – a commercial site that was formerly the runway of Hong Kong’s Kai Tak airport.
The firm’s board of directors said they believed the “recent social contradiction and economic instability would have a negative impact on the growth of Hong Kong’s commercial property market”, according to a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing.
An urgent board meeting was arranged on Monday at the request of independent non-executive director and pro-government lawmaker Abraham Razack. Different points of view were expressed during the meeting, but the company still decided to forfeit the HK$25 million deposit on the site.
Goldin Financial beat other local developers, including CK Asset, Sun Hung Kai Properties, Great Eagle Holdings, Wheelock Properties and Sino Land to get the land for HK$11.1 billion ($1.41 billion) just a month ago.
The Kai Tak commercial site has been rated as potentially very exclusive as it is the only commercial plot at the Kai Tak site with a full view of Victoria Harbour.
During a telephone briefing with reporters, company chairman Pan Sutong dismissed media reports that claimed the company lacked the finance to purchase the land as “a joke”. He said he would submit a personal bid if the government offered the commercial site for tender in the future, Apple Daily reported.
Razack also reiterated that the company had adequate funds to pay the balance for the premium plot of land.
Pan said that in the long run the company would continue to invest because he had “100% faith” in Hong Kong’s property market, and that its development at Liberty Avenue in Ho Man Tin would not be affected, Sing Tao Daily reported.
The group also has Goldin Financial Global Center in Kowloon Bay, a project in Sheung Shing Street in Ho Man Tin and a project atop the MTR station in Ho Man Tin.
A previous media report revealed that the company had borrowed HK$10.2 billion from CK Asset Holding in June last year and mortgaged Goldin Financial Global Centre in Kowloon Bay as collateral, Apple Daily reported.