China's HNA pays $960 mln for 4th land purchase in Hong Kong

HONG KONG, March 16 (Reuters) - Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co Ltd snapped up a plot of residential land in Hong Kong for HK$7.44 billion ($958.12 million), the fourth such purchase in five months in the city for the acquisitive group.

HNA’s unit, Hong Kong International Construction Investment Management Group Co, won the bid for a 9,482 square meter-land in the Kai Tak area, translating to a floor price of around HK$145,316 per square meter, HNA said in a statement late on Wednesday. HNA’s earlier land buys in Hong Kong have also been in the Kai Tak area.

Chinese firms have been aggressively buying land in Hong Kong, gobbling up 29 percent of the land sold in 2015-2016. Last month, two mainland Chinese developers won the tender of a piece of residential land at a record-breaking price of HK$16.9 billion, highlighting once again the territory’s skyrocketing real estate prices.

HNA made its first land purchase in Hong Kong in November for HK$8.8 billion, almost double the market’s forecasts.

The holding company of Hainan Airlines Co Ltd said its land bank in the Kai Tak area has reached approximately 37,000 square meters through the four acquisitions, which will be combined to construct a “world-class integrated residential complex”.

“Our company’s acquisition of these four high-quality sites at Kai Tak in such a short period of time shows our confidence in the prospects of establishing a new residential and commercial district in Hong Kong,” it said. ($1 = 7.7652 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)