Chinese Estates: La Scala appeal continues


Hong Kong-listed developer Chinese Estates Holdings Ltd. said Macau’s courts are still hearing an appeal filed by Moon Ocean Ltd. regarding the now-scrapped La Scala project.
According to the company’s annual results on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Moon Ocean’s appeal against a notice from the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) ‘is still in progress’ as of the announcement.
The notice from the DSSOPT stated that the Chief Executive had declared the previous act of approval of the increase of residential gross floor area of the related plots as well as an exchange of land in March 2011 invalid.
In 2006, Moon Ocean was approved by the SAR Government to acquire the five plots opposite Macau International Airport for MOP1.37 billion for the La Scala project. But the acquisition was invalidated by the authorities in 2012 once linked to the corruption case of ex-Secretary Ao Man Long.
Moon Ocean filed an appeal against the government’s decision but was turned down by the Court of Final Appeal in June last year.
For the year of 2016, Chinese Estates posted a net profit of HK$6.36 billion (US$791.9 million), a decrease of 17.7 per cent year-on-year from HK$7.72 billion one year prior, even though total revenue surged 142.9 per cent year-on-year to HK$3.75 billion.
The company explained that the decline in net profit was due to the decreases in net rental income, fair value gain on investment properties and share of results of associates.
Earlier this month, the company announced a restructuring as its previous controlling shareholder Joseph Lau Luen Hung was said to be in ‘very unstable health condition.’
The businessman’s interests in the company have been transferred to his eldest son Lau Ming Wai and his wife Kimbee Chan Hoi Wan – as trustee for the couple’s minor children, who now hold 24.97 per cent and 50.02 per cent of the company’s total shares, respectively.