Hongkong Land

Hongkong Land

Infobox Company
name = Hongkong Land Holdings Limited

type = Public (lse|XXX, sgx|H78, BSX|XXX)
genre =
foundation = 1890
founder = Sir Paul Chater
James Johnstone Keswick
location_city = c/o 8th Floor, 1 Exchange Square, Central, Hong Kong
location_country = China (Bermuda domiciled)
location =
locations =
area_served =
key_people = Simon Keswick (Chairman),
A J L Nightingale (Managing Director)
industry = Property
products =
services = Property development, Property management
revenue = US$933 million (2007)
operating_income =
net_income = US$345 million (2007)
assets =
equity =
owner =
num_employees = 1,053 (2007)
parent = Jardine Strategic Holdings Limited
divisions =
subsid = MCL Land
homepage = [http://www.hkland.com/ hkland.com]
footnotes =
intl =

The Hongkong Land Company, Limited sgx|H78 (branded as Hongkong Land, 置地公司 in Chinese) is the property development arm of Jardines. It is listed in Singapore as "Hongkong Land Holdings Limited".

History

In 1890, Sir Paul Chater and James Johnstone Keswick collaborated to undertake the private land reclamation Praya Reclamation Scheme. The first phase expanded out to Praya Central, and fulfilled the growing needs of Victoria City's businesses. The Company was formed as a result of this partnershipJason Wordie, [http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=&art_id=27127&sid=&con_type=1&d_str=19990418&sear_year=1999 Land-grabbing titans who changed HK's profit for good] , The Standard, April 18, 1999] .

Once the biggest property company in the world, with a heavy exposure to the Hong Kong real estate, it has been in the control of Jardine Matheson. It had been known as a conservative landlord which relied mainly on property-rental incomeDerek Davies, Mary Lee, Anthony Rowley, [http://sunzi1.lib.hku.hk/newspaper/view/04_15.01/101629.pdf Exit a man property] , Far Eastern Economic Review, August 18, 1983] .

1980s crisis

Former Government official Trevor Bedford became Managing Director in 1974. He had remained optimistic about Hong Kong, and expanded the development business aggressively, driven by a series of local joint ventures. He also invested in the food sector through the acquisition of Dairy Farm, and built up a portfolio of hotels. During the property slump which started in 1982, a number of its joint ventures became problematic: the Vermillion Land project ran into difficulties, as did the redevelopment of the Miramar Hotel in Nathan Road, and the tie-up with Carrian Investments, which subsequently crashed. The company's cashflow was under some strain due to heavy commitments (HK$4.76 billion) on the Exchange Square project, and was also forced to make provisions of some HK$1.9 billion against investments. In August 1983, Bedford was removed by Chairman Simon Keswick, who replaced him with David Davies.

The company underwent a painful restructuring under Davies during which it had been forced to sell the 34% stake in Hong Kong Electric, for HK$3 billion in January 1985 to reduce debt levels. New policies were framed to not be involved in further joint ventures and to concentrate on developing its rental property portfolio, on Hong Kong Island alone [Lau Wai-kong, [http://sunzi1.lib.hku.hk/newspaper/view/05_01.03/106329.pdf Land pays $375m to Miramar] , South China Morning Post, October 15 1985] .

In October 1985, it was announced that HKL had unwound all 33 joint ventures entered into by Bedford, incurring financial loss for virtually every oneChito Santiago, [http://sunzi1.lib.hku.hk/newspaper/view/04_08.02/110421.pdf HK Land came out 'better' despite $375m payout] , Hong Kong Standard, October 17, 1985] .

Buildings

The company is one of the biggest landlords of properties in the Central business district and controls several well known buildings, including:

*Alexandra House
*Chater House
*1 & 2 Exchange Square- HKL owned a 50% stake in a joint venture which developed the project. Its JV partner, Carrian, collapsed in 1983.
*Three Exchange Square
*Jardine House
*The Hong Kong Club Building
*The Landmark
*Edinburgh Tower
*Gloucester Tower
*York House
*Prince's Building
*1063 King's Road
*Tradeport Hong Kong

It is also responsible for building the Central Elevated Walkway, which was initially built to link up properties owned by it.

References

External links

* [http://www.hkland.com Company Website]
* [http://www.centralhk.com Company Website on its premises in Central]
* [http://www.propnfo.com/propiki/index.php?title=Hongkong_Land_property Property portfolio]


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