Polytec Asset Holdings Limited said Thursday it was of the view that its Macau-registered affiliate Polytex Import and Export Company Ltd. “has strong legal grounds and arguments to seek compensation” from the Macau government “for losses and damages” concerning its mothballed Pearl Horizon property project.
Polytec made the announcement in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The statement came one day after Macau’s Court of Final Appeal (TUI) had turned down an appeal by Polytex against the local government’s decision in January 2015 to annul the Pearl Horizon project’s provisional land concession because the developer failed to develop it within 25 years, the maximum period allowed by the Land Law.
Polytex has maintained that it’s the government’s fault that the project could not be completed within the 25-year span.
In the statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Polytec said that its “interests” in the Pearl Horizon project amounted to about HK$7.84 billion (8.08 billion patacas).
According to the statement, the compensation sought by the company would “include – but not be limited to – all losses suffered and all loss of profit as expected to be derived upon completion of the [Pearl Horizon] project, as a result of the procedural delay in granting the requisite approvals and permits for the development of the project which caused the incompletion of the project before the expiry date [in December 2015].”
The statement said that “an application will be made as soon as practicable” by the legal representative of Polytex in this regard.
The statement also said that the board of directors of Polytec were of the view that the termination of the project “should not have any adverse effect” on the company’s financial position.
The statement pointed out that Polytec continues to be engaged in property investment, trading and development related activities and interests in property development at plots T+T1 (La Marina) in Macau, aside from ice and cold storage business in Hong Kong and oil business in Kazakhstan.
The government announced on Wednesday that after the TUI ruling it decided to repossess the Pearl Horizon plot and develop a temporary housing project on it, some of whose units would be offered to pre-sale buyers of the abandoned Pearl Horizon project for sale.
The pre-sale buyers have been urging the government since 2016 to assist them in the fight to take possession of their flats. Many of them are paying mortgage instalments for flats that were never built.
The government said on Wednesday it expected legislation on the matter to be passed by lawmakers by the end of next year, the precondition for getting the temporary housing project off the ground – and selling some of the flats to Pearl Horizon’s pre-sale buyers.