PETALING JAYA: Months of protests in Hong Kong have put paid to the Finance Ministry’s (MoF) plans to sell the Malaysian consulate building there, according to sources.
“The tender has been put on hold, ” an industry source said.
The current viral outbreak has worsened the overall property market there, a property source based in Hong Kong said.
“Hong Kong’s office sector has dropped since the middle of last year due to the US-China trade war and other social events, ” the source added.
It is unknown how much the office market has slid since then.
There were indications that MoF would like to cut a deal at RM1.6bil (about HK$3bil) back in July 2019.
A figure of RM1.1bil was tossed about during the Barisan Nasional government.
“The current value should be lower, ” the Hong Kong source said.
Between one and three years, both the Barisan and the present government were unable to find a buyer until the matter lapsed in November 2018, a source said.
With the coronavirus on the loose, it is no help at all.
Property consultancy Knight Frank Hong Kong, in its monthly January 2020 report, said sentiment continues to soften in the top grade office market in the current political and economic climate.
Head of research and consultancy for Greater China David Ji does not expect things to improve in the coming months.
“Market conditions remain uncertain moving into 2020, as a wait-and-see attitude dictates tenants’ market outlook and business plans, ” Ji wrote.
Vacancies in Central and peripheral districts of Admiralty, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay rising to the highest level in five years. The 27-storey Malaysian Consulate office is located in Wan Chai.
The trend is expected to continue in the coming months.
On Feb 9, the South China Morning Post, quoting Hong Kong’s Land Registry, reported that overall property transactions in Hong Kong had fallen to a 13-month low since January 2020.
Street protests had resulted in overall property market tumbling to the lowest on record in 2019, according to Ricacorp Properties, SCMP reported.
According to a document viewed by StarBiz, the Malaysian government bought the property in 1980 for HK$212mil. It was built in 1975.
MoF had, around the middle of last year –three months after the street protects started – met with local and foreign agents with regard the sale of 50 Gloucester Road. It also set a year-end deadline for its sale.
Tender documents, or requests for proposals were given to an agent who attended the briefing session back then and were to be submitted to MoF not later than noon on July 9. MoF was looking to “formalise” the sale “not later than November 2019”. It did not reply to queries emailed to it at press time.
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