A Hong Kong politician’s attempts to meddle in the commercial operations of Link Reit appears to be foundering after officials described a proposed rent cap on the trust’s malls as out of line with basic law.
Three months ago, lawmakers Regina Ip and Alice Mak, released draft legislation recommending rent caps for shops in public housing estates and a vacancy tax on stores untenanted for more than six months. It was the latest in a long line of attack son the listed Reit, a privately-run business which took over 180 properties in 2005 from the Hong Kong Housing Authority, including shopping centers, markets and carparks of public housing estates through Link. Since then a number of properties have been sold as the publicly listed property company optimized its portfolio in line with normal business practice.
In March, Ip and Mak were among a group of legislators to visit various estates listening to retailers concerned that their rents would rise further under Link’s management.