Founded in 1886 as the 17th company incorporated in Hong Kong, The Wharf (Holdings) Limited (Stock code: 0004) is a premier company with a long history and Hong Kong as its base. As one of the 30 constituent stocks in the original Hang Seng Index 50 years ago, Wharf is among the top local blue chips that are most actively traded and widely held. Backed by a long standing mission of "Building for Tomorrow" and a proven track record in management and execution, the Group has produced consistent and productive performance over the years.
To provide investors with choice, the Group completed a demerger in November 2017 to separately list its Hong Kong investment properties portfolio under a sister company with a sharp focus. Today, The Wharf (Holdings) Limited is principally engaged in properties in Hong Kong and Mainland China. The Group also runs an expanding hotel portfolio in Asia under Wharf Hotels, a logistics business primarily in Hong Kong under Wharf Logistics, and has started to invest in the new economy primarily in China under Wharf CME2.
Wharf's Peak Portfolio redefines the concept of luxury living with a collection of the rarest and most prestigious residences nestled on the Peak, epitomising a unique and exclusive lifestyle at the most sought-after addresses in town. Among them, Mount Nicholson has made headlines to break one price record after another. Other properties under development include 1 Plantation Road, 11 Plantation Road and 77 Peak Road.
Kowloon East Waterfront Portfolio in the vibrant CBD2 under the Government's "Energising Kowloon East" initiative is another focus of the Group. It showcases a rare collection of premier developments that span a 500-metre coastline and enjoy a spectacular harbour view. 8 Bay East was disposed of in 2017. Different scenarios to redevelop Kowloon Godown are currently under evaluation.
In the Mainland, investment properties are led by the IFS series at the very heart of CBD or new CBD in select cities. IFS developments are positioned as trendsetting landmarks with unrivalled location, superior planning and design, retailer and shopper critical mass, as well as top-notch management. Chengdu IFS (which opened in 2014) and Changsha IFS (opening by phases in mid-2018) are comparable to Harbour City in Hong Kong in scale and dominance. The slightly smaller Chongqing IFS opened in 2017.
The land bank of development properties in China currently stands at 3.9 million square metres, mainly in six key cities led by Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou. That followed contracted sales in 2017 amounting to 0.9 million square metres and replenishment of 0.7 million square metres in 2017 and 0.6 million square metres so far in 2018. The net order book as at the end of 2017 stood at 0.8 million square metres (for RMB19.2 billion).
Wharf Hotels runs an expanding portfolio of 16 hotels in Asia. That is spearheaded by a prominent collection of three contemporary urban chic Niccolo hotels (including the newly opened The Murray, Hong Kong) and 13 Marco Polo hotels in Hong Kong, Mainland China and the Philippines. Two more Niccolo hotels are due to open in the next two years.
The logistics segment comprises primarily Modern Terminals and Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals, key components in Hong Kong’s success as a hub for international trade and international transportation for decades.
CME2 represents a strategic initiative and a long term investment in infrastructure in the new economy, with capital released from the exit from Wharf T&T and i-CABLE in 2016 and 2017 re-invested in a progressive CME2 arena that covers much larger markets with greater growth potential.
"Building for Tomorrow" also extends to Wharf's "Business-in-Community" pursuit. In addition to the flagship school improvement programme "Project WeCan", Wharf Architectural Design Internship has gained traction over the years. Backed by an enthusiastic team of staff volunteers, the Group also supports a series of "Business-in-Community" initiatives and works with different NGOs to bring benefits to different segments of society.