SEA Jumps as China Everbright Close to Buying Hong Kong Building

  • Everbright Is Near to Purchasing Dah Sing Financial Center
  • Deal follows Evergrande's HK$12.5 billion purchase in November

SEA Holdings Ltd. jumped to the highest ever at the open in Hong Kong trading after the diversified property developer was said to be close to selling a building in the city to China Everbright Group for about HK$10 billion ($1.3 billion).

SEA rallied 4.3 percent to HK$16.40, the highest since it listed in March 1990, at 10:07 a.m. local time. China Everbright, a Beijing company which controls China Everbright Bank Co. and Everbright Securities Co., is nearing a deal to acquire the 33-story office building in the city’s bustling Wan Chai district, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be named as they are not authorized to speak publicly. The tower spans 400,000 square feet in gross floor area, according to the website of SEA Holdings, which currently owns the building.

Hong Kong, which boasts the most expensive office rents in the world, has become a sought-after destination for Chinese companies seeking to boost their global brands, despite a residential market slump that has sent sales to a 25-year low. In November, Chinese developer Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd. agreed to buy the Mass Mutual Tower in Hong Kong for HK$12.5 billion, the most ever paid for a commercial building in the city.

China Everbright’s Beijing-based spokespeople couldn’t be immediately reached for comments by phone outside of business hours on Thursday. SEA’s Hong Kong-based spokespeople weren’t immediately available to comment on the news when contacted by phone on Thursday.

China Everbright Ltd., the group’s listed Hong Kong unit, rose 0.9 percent to HK$15.50.

— With assistance by Jacqueline Poh, Emma Dong, and Vinicy Chan

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