Shop sale fetches record price in Hong Kong: report

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The Independent Online

A company run by Hong Kong's best-known entertainment mogul has paid a record 108 million US dollars for a shop in one of the busiest districts, a report said Tuesday.

The sale of the 1,212 square foot outlet comes as the city's government tries to contain soaring property costs due to fears they are getting out of control.

The price works out to about 90,000 dollars per square foot, making it the city's most expensive retail space, the South China Morning Post reported, quoting an unnamed source.

"It is unknown if this is now the most expensive shop in the world, but obviously it's a record in the city," real estate agent Lawrence Wong told the daily newspaper.

The shop in Hong Kong's busy Tsim Sha Tsui district houses luxury retailer Emperor Watch & Jewellery, which is run by music tycoon Albert Yeung, the Post said.

Yeung's Emperor Entertainment Group has contracts with a host of Cantonese pop stars who claim legions of fans in the city of seven million.

An Emperor subsidiary, which had been leasing the space, bought the property because of "the investment value of the location and a basic need for the shop," the source told the paper.

The previous record for a Hong Kong retail space was set in May by Yeung's brother Ricky, who paid 58,000 dollars US per square foot for a shop in the same neighbourhood, the Post said.

In October, Henderson Land Development said it sold a five-bedroom luxury residential duplex in Hong Kong's Mid-Levels area for an Asian record 11,300 US dollars per square foot, or 57 million US dollars in total.

Hong Kong's government is considering plans to rein in the city's real estate prices as it grows concerned about a dangerous bubble building in the market.

The city has seen several record-breaking property sales in the past year as wealthy mainland Chinese investors and low interest rates stoke demand.

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