Articles: Land leases

How Britain’s post-war debt turned a small US outpost in Hong Kong into a staging area for its cold war operations in Asia
South China Morning Post, 18-Aug-2018
A follow-up to the Webb-site revelations of the USA's longest land lease in China.
Land deal for US consulate site in Hong Kong was proposed just six months before city was handed back to China in 1997
South China Morning Post, 11-Aug-2018
A follow-up to the Webb-site revelations of the USA's longest land lease in China.
Revealed: the USA has the longest land lease in China
Breaking through false search results at the HK Land Registry, Webb-site finds that the USA in 1960 was granted a unique option to purchase the freehold of its HK Consulate site. In 1999, Tung Chee Hwa's government agreed to convert this to a 999-year lease and remove the restriction on sale for only HK$44m, granting the USA a potential windfall and the longest leasehold land in China. (6-Aug-2018)
Does HK's land sale system need a new lease of life?HK Land Lease Reform
South China Morning Post, 18-Apr-2017
Shirley Zhao's article covers our proposals for Land Lease Reform published on 1-Nov-2010 (at the second link). Let's hope that the new CE puts that into effect.
HK's hotel subsidy in SimCity
Since 2008, HK has been underpricing land for hotels by selling "hotels only" land leases, failing to optimise development value and incentivising mass-market budget tourism. We urge the Financial Secretary to let the market optimise land use with unrestricted leases, and to reform the land lease system with higher ground rents and lower premiums. (23-Jan-2014)
Hong Kong Land Lease Reform, Part 2
We advocate a rebalancing of HK's land lease system, reducing up-front premiums in exchange for a perpetual stream of future ground rents and addressing a number of festering problems simultaneously. We also suggest a Premium Release Scheme to return hoarded capital to the market, and PRS Bonds or HIPS (HK Income Protected Securities) to help finance it, providing a new long-term investment option for retirement funds. (1-Nov-2010)
Hong Kong Land Lease Reform, Part 1
In the first of a two-part article, we examine the 169-year history of lease tenures in HK, which ended up with a high-premium low-rent land lease policy with relatively short leases. It wasn't always this way, but before making the case for change, we explain the historical context. (7-Oct-2010)
Building a Value Proposition for HK
HK Chief Executive Donald Tsang recently convened an Economic Summit of 33 people, which spawned 4 focus groups, including one on financial services, which in turn produced 3 working groups, one of which, headed by HKEx government-appointed director and Chairman Ronald Arculli, has sought submissions on the markets. This is our submission. (4-Oct-2006)
Webb on "Backchat" re land sale system in HK
RTHK, 29-Sep-2005

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