Iec Long Firecracker Factory land swap deal linked to casino bosses

Of the six plots of land that the government has yet to conduct land swaps for the original land grantees, the site of the now defunct Iec Long Firecracker Factory in Taipa occupies the biggest site that the government has yet to fully compensate the site owner for, local businessman and casino boss Sio Tak Hong.
According to official dispatch No.87/2006, the MSAR Government agreed in January 2001 to acquire the site of the firecracker factory from its owner in order to build a theme park, in return for which the government had to compensate the owner with a 152,073 square metre plot near the Taipa Houses Museum park – located next to Avenida da Praia.
The owner was Sociedade de Desenvolvimento Predial Baía da Nossa Senhora da Esperança, S.A., controlled by local businessman and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference member Sio Tak Hong, who is also the chairman of Capital Estate Ltd. and owner of Hotel Fortuna (a casino-hotel on the Macau Peninsula).
The land swap deal between the government and Mr. Sio is also linked to Shun Tak Holdings Ltd., led by Pansy Ho Chiu King, local Chinese-language news outlet All About Macau said in its August issue when first breaking the story.
Of the 150,000 square metre-plus site that the MSAR Government agreed to swap for Mr. Sio’s company, in 2002 Ms. Ho’s Shun Tak Group purchased from Mr. Sio the land interest of a site occupying 99,000 square metres for MOP500 million, the news outlet reported.
Shun Tak intended to build a hotel complex on the 99,000 square metres of acquired Taipa site from Mr. Sio, an application that the then Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah approved in 2002, dispatch No.87/2006 read.
However, no development on the swapped site at Avenida da Praia was possible for Mr. Sio or Shun Tak as the government later conserved the area as a nature park.
Consequently, Shun Tak asked the government in 2005 the grant of a site of 18,363 square metres on the ZAPE waterfront on the Macau Peninsula, an area that later housed the high-end residence and shopping complex One Central and Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
That means of the 99,000 square metres of land interest that Shun Tak has purchased from Mr. Sio, the company still held an interest in the remaining 80,637 square metres that could be developed.
No further information of land grants related to Sociedade de Desenvolvimento Predial Baía da Nossa Senhora da Esperança, S.A. or Shun Tak was available from the city’s Official Gazette.
In a press release published last month, the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) said that it has yet to conduct land swaps for six plots of land that the government has acquired from land grantees for public projects as well as private projects.
In the statement, the Bureau said it has yet to swap land for the plots granted to Wynn Macau and MGM China on the Macau Peninsula as well as Galaxy Macau on Cotai, as the plots located in ZAPE and in Cotai that had originally been granted to third-party private landowners later underwent a change in land usage purpose for the development of the resort-casino business.
The plots granted to Wynn Macau and MGM China originally belonged to Nam Van Development Company, S.A.R.L., in which the government has to return to the company a site of a combined 107,685 square metres, All About Macau reported, citing information from official dispatches and the Bureau of Cartography and Cadastre Service.
The government has also to swap land with private landowners pertaining to the building of the Golden Lotus Square on Macau Peninsula and the public housing site in Ilha Verde, the DSSOPT statement read. The government would have to look for land occupying 16,500 square metres to swap for the Golden Lotus Square, and another parcel of 16,463 square metres for the Ilha Verde public housing, which is now being constructed, the report said.
The private landowner of the Golden Lotus Square plot is casino tycoon Stanley Ho Hung Sun, while the plot for the Ilha Verde public housing site originally belonged to a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed developer Polytec Group, according to official dispatches.