The Center sold for record US$5.15b

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A landmark skyscraper owned by Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-shing has sold for a record price of more than US$5 billion, the company confirmed on Wednesday, indicating the city’s booming property sector shows no sign of slowing down.

The rumored sale of The Center, the city’s fifth-tallest building, was first reported last month.

Li’s CK Asset Holdings confirmed in a statement to the Hong Kong exchange that the sale of its stake in the building had gone through for HK$40.2 billion (US$5.15 billion) — a record for a Hong Kong office tower Bloomberg News said.

The statement named the buyer as C.H.M.T. Peaceful Development Asia Property Limited, incorporated under the British Virgin Islands.

The company is a “special purpose vehicle” set up specifically to undertake the acquisition, the CK Assets statement added.

The consortium’s largest shareholder is Beijing-based China Energy Reserve and Chemicals Group, the South China Morning Post said, citing sources familiar with the deal.

Commercial and residential property prices in Hong Kong have been fueled by an influx of money from wealthy Chinese mainland investors and developers.

The sale of The Center, a 73-storey building in Hong Kong’s bustling Central district, surpassed a transaction earlier this year, where a prime commercial lot — occupied by a multi-story car park also in Central — was sold off for HK$23.28 billion by the government to Henderson Land, owned by the city’s second richest man, Lee Shau-kee.

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