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Harbour Centre Buys Building in H.K. for HK$4.4 Billion

Harbour Centre Development Ltd., controlled by the family of billionaire Peter Woo, bought a former government office tower in Hong Kong’s city center for HK$4.4 billion ($568 million) for conversion into a hotel.

The Hong Kong-based real estate company, a listed unit of Wheelock & Co., has until the end of 2018 to convert the 27-level, 325,073-square-foot 1960s-era Murray building into a hotel, while preserving its exterior, according to a Hong Kong stock exchange filing yesterday evening.

The conversion will give Harbour Centre its second hotel in Hong Kong; it also owns the Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel in the Tsim Sha Tsui district. The city government is selling some of its older office space after erecting a new headquarters for itself on the waterfront.

Woo, chairman of Wheelock, is Hong Kong’s seventh-richest person with a fortune estimated at $7.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He’s the son-in-law of deceased shipping tycoon Pao Yue-Kong.

Separately, Swire Properties Ltd. bought a commercial site in Hong Kong’s Kowloon Bay district from the government for HK$2.64 billion and Sino Land Co. bought a residential site in the Sai Kung area for HK$850 million, according to a statement posted on the government’s website yesterday. Both buyers are Hong Kong-based real estate developers.

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