Suncity Group acquires land in Okinawa for future hotel resort project

Hong Kong-listed Suncity Group has acquired a 108,799 square meter land plot in the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa with the purpose of developing a future hotel resort. 

According to a Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing, the group purchased a 51 percent share stake for US$9.5 million (MOP76.7 million) at a Japanese investment holding company named MSRD Corporation Limited, which holds the land plot in Miyako Island, Okinawa. 

The land in question was said to be evaluated at some US$47.1 million, with a current designated use for natural fields, windbreak forest/barrier, farmland, or public roads, with Suncity intending to apply to Okinawa’s Legal Affair Bureau for the conversion of its designated use to allow a resort hotel. 

Miyako Island is the largest of the Miyako Islands, Okinawa Prefecture, with Suncity planning to build 40 villas with a swimming pool and a hotel of more than 100 rooms on the land. 

‘The Board considers that with the continued increase in Chinese visitors travelling to Japan and the newly operated direct flights to the Shimojishima Airport, the acquisition represents a good opportunity to further expand its tourism-related business and to diversify its focus, in terms of geographical locations, from China to the East Asia region,’ Suncity stated in the announcement. 

Some 31.2 million visitors were said to have visited Okinawa in 2018, with 27 percent being from China. 

Suncity also noted that in addition to the 24 direct flights per day to the existing Miyako Airport, the Shimojishima Airport commenced its operations in March 2019, and two airlines have started operating up to 17 direct flights from Tokyo, Osaka, and Hong Kong to the Shimojishima Airport per week, which will enhance the transportation to Miyako Islands. 

Suncity completed the deal through a subsidiary incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, Modest Achieve Limited, acquiring the shares from a Hong Kong-listed company held by Japanese group AIIA Corporation Limited, which is mainly engaged in the apparel retail business, media, development of mobile games, language institutions, and real estate in Japan. 

The purchase will be funded by financing from a company wholly owned by Suncity’s Executive Director, Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, who has previously made available to the company a facility in the principal amount of up to HK$1.5 billion for the purposes of the group’s daily operations, mergers and acquisitions, investments, business development, and other corporate purposes. 

The real estate and tourism group listed in Hong Kong – which does not cover Suncity’s junket operations – is also an investor and hotel service consultant in the HOIANA integrated resort project in Hoi An South, Vietnam.