November 14, 2017 / 6:58 AM / 2 years ago

Hong Kong's Wharf approves property unit spin-off

HONG KONG, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Hong Kong property-to-media conglomerate Wharf said on Tuesday its board had approved a spin-off proposal for its property investment unit.

The plan would increase the operational and financial transparency of each listed entity, and would enable the new entity to have independent access to equity and debt capital markets, the company said in a filing.

The board also approved a special interim dividend, of which one new Wharf Real Estate Investment Company Limited (Wharf REIC) share would be distributed for every Wharf share held.

Wharf first announced the spin-off proposal in August.

Shares of Wharf hit a new high after that announcement. On Tuesday they had eased 0.9 percent, versus a flat broader market .

The proposed spin-off, pending approval from the stock exchange, will be implemented by way of introduction, without raising any capital. Wharf REIC shares are expected to start trading on Nov. 23.

Wharf REIC will focus on Hong Kong investment properties, holding a portfolio of six premium quality investment properties worth a total of over HK$230 billion ($29 billion) and an annual turnover of over HK$13 billion.

After the demerger, Wharf will be focused on investment properties and development properties in mainland China, other Hong Kong properties, as well as logistics and hotel management.

Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Stephen Coates

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