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Mainland property firms eye HK float
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The mainland's cooling-down policies will not deter its property developers from tapping the fund market in Hong Kong, with more of them expected to list in the city in 2008, industry experts said.


"Many property firms, mostly from second-tier markets such as Sichuan, Harbin and Suzhou, are on the way to float shares in Hong Kong. The number (next year) will surpass this year's nine," said Kenny Suen, managing director of property consultant Vigers Asia Pacific.


Vigers has been approached by some mainland property firms wanting to list in Hong Kong, but Suen did not reveal details.


But the funds to be raised may be on a par with this year's figure, because most of the giant players in the industry such as Country Garden have already listed, he added. Nine mainland property players have gone public in the city so far this year, raising a total of HK$20 billion.


Suen's prediction comes despite the fact the central government has shown a growing determination to rein in its runaway property market.


A slew of measures such as the deposit reserve ratio rise, land approval checks and interest rate hikes were adopted in past months to curb easy lending to real estate firms.


Suen said he believed no cooling-down measures would be released before the end of the year, as "there are signs of a slowing market". "Transactions during the October Golden Week holiday slightly dropped, indicating that many potential buyers are adopting a 'wait-and-see' attitude," he said.


(China Daily December 13, 2007)

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