Sun Hung Kai Properties

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Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited.
Traded as
Industry Real Estate
Founded 1963 (listed in 1972)
Founder Kwok Tak Seng, Fung King Hey, Lee Shau Kee
Headquarters 45/F, Sun Hung Kai Centre,
30 Harbour Road, Wanchai,
Hong Kong
Key people
Raymond Kwok, Chairman and Managing Director
Products Property Development, Property Investment, Property Management, Hotels, Telecommunications, Information Technology, Infrastructure and Others
Revenue HKD 91.2 billion (2015/16 FY)
Number of employees
About 37,000 (as at June 2016)

Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. (SHKP; Chinese: 新鴻基地產發展有限公司) (SEHK0016) is a listed corporation based in Hong Kong. The company is controlled by the Kwok family trust[1] set up by Kwok Tak Seng, who founded the company.

It is reputed (as per BBC News) to be the second most valuable real estate company in the world. It is controlled in large by the Kwok brothers.[2]


Early years[edit]

The company was one of many non-British owned companies that overtook the British trading companies or 'hongs' that dominated the financial order in Hong Kong prior to 1997.[citation needed] The company was founded in 1963 by the elder Kwok, together with Fung King-hei and Lee Shau Kee, and was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on 23 August 1972.[3]

In 1973, SHKP acquires Hong Yip Service Company Limited.[4] In 1977, SHKP moved its head office to Connaught Centre, Central (now known as Jardine House).

In 1978, SHKP establishes Kai Shing Management Services Limited.

In 1978, SHKP put on sale the first multi-block residential estate, Tsuen Wan Centre (First Phase). Also in 1978, SHKP became one of the 33 constituent stocks listed of the Hang Seng Index.

In 1979, SHKP establishes Sun Hung Kai Properties Insurance Limited[5]

1980s and 1990s[edit]

In 1981, SHKP acquired interest in Kowloon Motor Bus, a public transport provider. The corporation moved its headquarters to Sun Hung Kai Centre, on an area of newly-reclaimed land in Wan Chai, in 1982.

In 1991, SHKP acquired Wilson Parking.

In 1992, SHKP finished construction of Central Plaza in Wan Chai, the tallest building in Asia at the time of completion. In the same year the company diversified into mobile telephony with the establishment of SmarTone, now one of Hong Kong's dominant mobile providers.[6] This subsidiary was listed in Hong Kong in 1996.[7]

In 1993, SHKP acquired World Trade Centre, Causeway Bay.[8] From the mid-1990s the company undertook property development related to the new airport railway, including sites at the Airport Express Hong Kong Station.

In 1998, Route 3 (Country Park Section) opens.[9]

In 1999, Completion of Shanghai Central Plaza commercial building.[10]

21st century[edit]

In 2000, SHKP wins tender for Kowloon Station Development Packages 5, 6 & 7 – now the International Commerce Centre (ICC) complex.[11]

In 2000, SUNeVision Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of SHKP, is listed on the Growth Enterprise Market of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

In 2001, SHKP establishes luxury residential leasing division Signature Homes.

In 2002, SHKP sets up SHKP – Kwok's Foundation to provide financial support to financially disadvantaged but academically outstanding students, enabling them to pursue university education or to participate in overseas exchange programmes.

In 2003, the first phases of YOHO Town in Yuen Long went on sale..[12][13] The same year, the company signed a land-use transfer agreement with Shanghai Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone Development Company for Shanghai IFC project.[14]

In 2005, SHKP opens APM, Hong Kong's first late-night retail centre.[15]

In 2005, SHKP acquires Seiyu (Sha Tin) Company Limited.

In 2009, Ma Wan Park Noah's Ark opens, the first Christian theme park in Hong Kong.[16]

In 2010, SHKP finishes construction of ICC at Kowloon Station, the tallest building in Hong Kong at the time of completion.

In 2013, SHKP successfully acquires commercial site with 7.6 million square feet of gross floor area in Shanghai Xujiahui district.[17]

In 2015, SHKP becomes Title and Charity Sponsor of the first Hong Kong Cyclothon.

In 2016, SHKP donates land in Yuen Long to Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui for the construction of an integrated service centre.[18]

Corruption probe[edit]

The Hong Kong business community was shaken by the arrest of SHK Executive Director Thomas Chan by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on 19 March. There were further shock waves when eight people linked to the company in the afternoon on 29 March 2012. Co-chairmen Thomas and Raymond Kwok and five others were arrested by the ICAC as part of an extensive corruption probe. Rafael Hui, former chief secretary, was also taken in for questioning. They were later released on bail. The probe caused a 15 percent fall in the company's share price, and a downgrading of the company's outlook.[19]

In December 2014, the jury convicted Thomas Kwok and Rafael Hui of the HK$8,500,000 bribery, and Hui was convicted of four more charges relating to misconduct in public office. The jury acquitted Raymond Kwok from all changes.[20][21]



SHKP was publicly listed in 1972 and is one of the largest property companies in Hong Kong. It develops residential and commercial projects for sale and investment. It employs about 37,000 people and has in-house expertise in land acquisition, architecture, construction, engineering and property management.

It achieved a revenue of HK$91,184 million in financial year 2015/16, with profit attributable to shareholders of HK$32,666 million. The majority of its revenues and operating profit was derived from property sales and rental.

Land bank[edit]

As of 30 June 2016, the Group had a land bank in Hong Kong of 49.9 million square feet in terms of attributable gross floor area, consisting of 29.0 million square feet of completed investment properties and 20.9 million square feet of properties under development. The Group also owns over 30 million square feet (site area) of agricultural land in the New Territories, primarily along rail lines. The majority of this is in various stages of land use conversion.

As of 30 June 2016, the Group holds a land bank of 69.9 million square feet in terms of attributable gross floor area on the mainland, including 57.8 million square feet of properties for development and 12.1 million square feet of completed properties for rent. The Group has a selective and focused investment strategy, concentrating on prime cities.

Credit ratings[edit]

The Group has always attained the highest credit ratings amongst Hong Kong developers. Moody's gave the Group an A1 rating and Standard & Poor's gave the Group an A+ rating.[22]

Other businesses[edit]

The company also has complementary operations in the following property related fields:

  • Hotels
  • Property management
  • Telecommunications
  • Information technology
  • Infrastructure and other businesses

It was once reported in a local newspaper that the company and Cheung Kong (Holdings) are together increasingly dominant in the development of new private homes, accounting for 70% of the market in 2010, up from around half of that in 2003. This concentration, with much of the rest of the market occupied by other very large firms, is attributed to the government's policy of auctioning land in expensively large blocks, squeezing out small and mid-sized firms, according to the Consumer Council.[23]

Nevertheless, clarification was later made in the letters to editors column in the same newspaper that Sun Hung Kai Properties’ overall share of primary residential sales in terms of attributable value from January to July 2010 has been approximately 20% – a figure that has been largely stable over the last few years.[24]


It has been, and continues to be involved in a number of high-profile projects in Hong Kong. In 1996, SHKP was the lead developer which had bid the sum of HK$5.5 billion to acquire the rights to develop Hong Kong's second-tallest building, the International Finance Centre. The MTR Corporation was a partner in the venture.[25] Sun Hung Kai Properties, owns 47.5 per cent of the development, Henderson Land Development, whose chairman Lee Shau Kee sits on the SHKP board,[26] took a 32.5 per cent stake in the project. SHKP also built the International Commerce Centre, the tallest building in Hong Kong.

Lack of transparency of internal sales[edit]

In 2005, the developer was criticised for the lack of transparency in its public sale of residential properties to speculators and end-users.[27] The company was accused of the practice of "internal sales" of uncompleted units, the absence of sale price-lists, and also for hyping sales for flats in its The Arch development in West Kowloon by announcing inflated prices (per square metre) achieved. A buyer apparently paid HK$168 million, or HK$31,300 per square foot, for a 5,360-square-foot (498 m2) penthouse. Sweeteners were allegedly given (discounts given to the same purchaser on other units bought), but were excluded from the calculation. This allowed SHK to raise prices of the next batch of 500 units by 5–10 percent. But SHKP has denied the allegations.[27]

Sibling fallout[edit]

On 18 February 2008, SHKP announced that Walter Kwok, Chairman and Chief Executive, would take a "temporary leave of absence for personal reasons with immediate effect". Walter Kwok announced that he would take a "personal holiday", handing over his duties to his two younger brothers.[28]

The suddenness of his departure caused a huge stir in Hong Kong. The Standard reported that the elder Kwok was removed from his position by his mother, who is the controlling shareholder of the company, to protect the family interests. The journal revealed that Walter's mistress of 4 years has been wielding increasing power in the business, and causing friction with his brothers.[29]

SHKP's announcement left the financial markets hungry for more disclosure, causing its stock price to decline against the general market the following day. Corporate communications issued a second statement insisting that the business would not be affected, and that Walter would resume his functions after his leave of 2 to 3 months. Walter's mistress, named by the press as Ida Tong Kam-hing (唐錦馨), had apparently introduced property transactions valued at HK$4 billion to the Group or to the Kwoks' private investment vehicles. Company spokesmen stated that no person named Ida Tong was employed by the Group.[30][31]

On 29 February, tycoon and fellow board member Lee Shau Kee confirmed that Mrs. Kwok forced the leave of absence upon Walter over Ida Tong during the last board meeting.

On 16 May 2008, Walter filed a writ with the High Court which claimed that Walter reached an agreement with his mother and two brothers in February that he would return to his duties if certain conditions were met. Walter alleged that his two brothers violated the agreement by attempting to remove him despite having fulfilled the pre-defined criteria, including procuring at least two medical opinions showing he is fit to return. Walter secured a last-minute injunction to delay the vote, to allow more time for discussions.[32] On the sidelines of the dispute to remove Walter as Chairman and CEO, Walter and his brothers claim the other(s) made major management decisions unwisely and without consultation.[33][34]

Notable development projects[edit]

Hong Kong (residential)[edit]

YOHO Series[edit]

The YOHO series is the largest property development in Yuen Long, with SHKP being the sole developer. The YOHO series consists of YOHO Town, YOHO Midtown and Grand YOHO. YOHO Town, the first phase of the project, was completed in 2004 and was at the time the largest project to go on sale in Yuen Long. The record was later broken by the sale of YOHO Midtown in 2010. The entire YOHO development provides more than 4,100 residential units and includes a commercial complex.[35]

YOHO MALL, opened in the third quarter of 2015 as part of Phase 2 of the YOHO series, is built above the Yuen Long MTR Station spanning an area of 1.1 million square feet, making it the largest commercial complex along the MTR West Rail Line. It also houses the largest IMAX cinema in the city.[36]

The Wings[edit]

The Wings is an integrated development with residential flats, two hotels, serviced apartments, grade-A offices and a shopping centre. It is located above the Tseung Kwan O MTR Station. The development includes hotels, office space and a shopping mall.[37]

The two hotels in the development – Crowne Plaza Hong Kong, Kowloon East and Holiday Inn Express Hong Kong, Kowloon East – are both operated by InterContinental Hotels Group. The former officially opened on 28 September 2012, while the latter opened on 26 October of the same year. The serviced apartment Vega Suites, launched in September 2012, is located on the 28th to 41st floor of the Holiday Inn building, providing a total of 176 flats.[38]

A mall, named PopWalk, is also being developed by SHKP to serve residents in The Wings II and Ocean Wings, as well as the Tseung Kwan O South community. The PopWalk mall comprises four phases, with the first of them opening in August 2016. The entire PopWalk series will provide an upwards of 240,000 square feet of retail floor area. The mall is located near the MTR station and has green space for mallgoers to rest and relax.[39]

Hong Kong (commercial)[edit]


The International Commerce Centre (ICC) in West Kowloon is the tallest building in Hong Kong, standing at 490m with 118 storeys. The development was also chosen as one of world's top 125 most important works of architecture by Architectural Record in commemoration of the magazine's 125th anniversary.[40]

The tower opened in 2011. While most of the building is leased out as office spaces – ICC provides 2.5 million square feet of office space[41] – the building also houses the Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck on the 100th floor as well as restaurants on the 101th floor, with the former providing a 360-degree view over the Victoria Harbour at 393 metres above the sea level. The Ritz-Carlton hotel occupies the building's 102nd to 118th floor. The world's highest swimming pool is located on the top floor as part of the hotel.[42]

The building also has LED lights on its facades for a light show, which has set a Guinness World Record for the "largest light and sound show on a single building". The show occurs twice a night, and can be viewed along both sides of the Victoria Harbour.[43]

The SHKP Vertical Run for Charity has been an annual event hosted by SHKP at ICC since 2012.[44]


The International Finance Centre is an integrated commercial development, which includes the currently second tallest building in Hong Kong, only next to ICC.[45] Situated above the Hong Kong MTR station, the project was developed and owned by IFC Development, a consortium with SHKP as one of the members. The IFC project was completed in September 2006, providing a gross floor area of over 4 million square feet in total. It consists of two office towers – One ifc and Two ifc – the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, and the ifc mall.[46] Notable occupants of the development include the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which purchased 14 floors in Two ifc in 2001.

The ifc mall in the IFC development has 4 floors of luxury retail shops and restaurants. It is also where Hong Kong's first Apple retail store is located.

Millennium City[edit]

Millennium City is a multi-tower development project built along the Kwun Tong Road. By 2016, Phases 1-3,5 and 6 have been completed.

Millennium City 1, first to be completed and largest of the Millennium City cluster, comprises a twin pair of 30-storey towers. The two towers combined provide a total of 1,230,000 square feet of commercial space.[47]

New Town Plaza[edit]

New Town Plaza is an SHKP development located in Sha Tin, Hong Kong. The development project was completed in three phases (Phase 1: 9-storey shopping mall; Phase 2: Royal Park Hotel; Phase 3: private housing and a 3-storey shopping mall). New Town Plaza was the largest development of its kind in New Territories at its time of completion in the 1980s.[48]

Royal Park Hotel is connected to the metro station and New Town Plaza mall via a covered walkway, and is close to local attractions such as Che Kung Temple, Sha Tin Racecourse and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Royal Park Hotel hosted Olympians competing in equestrian programmes during the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games. [49]


Opened in March 2005, apm is one of the largest shopping malls targeted at a younger generation of consumers.[50] The name APM is an amalgamation of AM and PM, reflecting how the shops in the mall operate with extended hours, allowing consumers to shop even at hours when most others shops are closed. apm has a lot of retail shops, restaurants and entertainment options, most of them opening at least until midnight.[51]

In tune with the theme of being young and trendy, apm houses retail brands that are typically tailored for a younger audience. A cinema, game zone and a karaoke bar are some of the other amenities that visitors can find in the mall.[52]

apm is a part of Millennium City 5, an integrated complex with retail and office elements. The complex is connected to the nearby Kwun Tong MTR Station.[53]


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