Bloomberg

Wealthy property heir bets big on troubled Hong Kong

Pedestrians walk past New World Development Co.'s Skycity mall as it stands under construction in Hong Kong on July 30, 2020. Foto: Bloomberg/Roy Liu

From building Hong Kong's largest shopping mall to constructing a sprawling $3.9 billion sports center, Adrian Cheng has been one of the most aggressive property investors in town. It's a costly expansion strategy that's now poised to test one of the city's oldest real-estate empires.

Cheng, 40, became chief executive officer of New World Development Co. in May, cementing his position after taking over from his father Henry a few years ago. But even as he ascended to the top, Cheng championed ambitious real-estate developments in the financial and tourism hub worth about $5 billion. Conceived on the assumption mainland Chinese visitors would continue to throng Hong Kong, they now mean the family is exposed to some of the city's largest projects at a time when the coronavirus pandemic and political unrest is crippling its economy...

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