Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. (16), Hong Kong’s biggest developer, halted trading of its shares today pending a price-sensitive announcement.
Hong Kong’s anti-corruption commission arrested Thomas and Raymond Kwok, the billionaire co-chairmen of Sun Hung Kai, and Rafael Hui, formerly the city’s No. 2 official, in March in one of the highest-level investigations in the body’s 38-year history. Thomas Chan, an executive director of the company, had been arrested earlier. As of yesterday, no charges had been laid by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, known as the ICAC.
The probe has increased public concern about real estate policies implemented by the government as property price gains made Hong Kong the world’s most expensive place to own a home. Thomas and Raymond Kwok were arrested in connection with a probe into offenses suspected to have been committed under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, the company said March 29.
Sun Hung Kai’s spokeswoman Brenda Wong declined to comment on today’s suspension, as did Valentina Chan, a spokeswoman for the ICAC.
Sun Hung Kai shares have fallen 15 percent in Hong Kong trading since the March 29 arrests, compared with a 1 percent decline in the Hang Seng Property Index.
Raymond Kwok denied any wrongdoing at an April 4 press conference at the company’s headquarters, his first and only comments since the arrest.
SUNeVision Holdings Ltd. (8008), a unit of Sun Hung Kai, also suspended trading in its shares today.
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