Hong Kong-listed Chinese Estates Holdings announced Monday that its fully owned subsidiary Moon Ocean will return all deposit money in full handed over for the presold property units in the mothballed La Scala project in Taipa to each promissory purchaser accepting the respective revocation and cancellation arrangement.
The company announced the decision in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
According to the statement, the revocation and cancellation arrangement offers “interest thereon at the rate of 7.25 percent per annum for the period from the date of each instalment of the relevant deposit money being paid until the date of actual refund.”
The 7.25 percent rate is two percent above the prime lending rate specified by Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, which currently stands at 5.25 percent, the statement said.
The statement points out that the construction work of the La Scala project opposite Macau’s airport has been suspended since 2012, “and as at the date of this announcement it is still uncertain when the judgments of these appeal proceedings will be given, Moon Ocean has decided to arrange for the revocation and cancellation of the binding letters of offer and the promissory sale and purchase agreements of the presold property units under the La Scala project after taking into account the general preference of the promissory purchasers to have an early revocation and cancellation.”
The statement stresses that the revocation and cancellation arrangement is being offered “without admission of any liability.”
The company did not say how much it expected to spend on the revocation and cancellation arrangement.
The statement also reaffirms that Moon Ocean has lodged an appeal to the Court of Second Instance (TSI) of Macau against certain decisions by Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On. The decisions resulted in the project’s demise.
Chui’s decisions came after local court proceedings alleged that the deluxe residential project was involved in the mega-graft scandal of former policy secretary Ao Man Long who is serving a 29-year sentence for corruption, abuse of power, money laundering and a string of other crimes.
Hong Kong tycoon Joseph Lau Luen-hung stepped down as chairman and CEO of Chinese Estates Holdings in March after he was found guilty by a Macau court of bribery and money laundering.
Lau was replaced as chairman by his son, Lau Ming-wai, who was also named acting CEO, effective March 14.
Lau was sentenced in absentia to five years and three months behind bars in connection with the payment of a HK$20 million bribe to Ao.
Lau, who has protested his innocence and failed to attend his trial in Macau for alleged health reasons, lives in Hong Kong which does not have an extradition agreement with Macau.
Lau’s business partner Steven Lo Kit-shing, who attended the trial but not his sentencing, received the same prison term. Lau and Lo, who also lives in Hong Kong, have appealed their sentences. (macaunews/macaupost)