Paul Chong Saturday, 19 September 2015
Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group, speaks in front of a big screen during the Nov 11 Singles’ Day shopping spree at Alibaba headquarters in Hangzhou city, East China’s Zhejiang province, on Nov 11 2014.
Alibaba chairman Jack Ma is reported to be the buyer of a luxury house in Hong Kong’s exclusive Victoria Peak district that sold this week for HK$1.5 billion ($193 million).
IN Malaysia where I come from, the top end property market is to be found in Kenny Hills. Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng, however, lives on the edge of Ukay Heights where he has a sweeping vista vision of the Klang Valley. Properties in Pantai Hills, Damansara Height also command premium prices. In Hong Kong, with none to compare, the place tho live is up in Victoria Peak.
The 70 year old, 1100 square meters property at 22 Barker Road is described variously as a “bungalow,” a “villa” and a “mansion”. The deal makes it the second most expensive home in the world per square foot, according to local media at HK$151,653 ($19,500) per saleable square foot.
The three story property boasts a 270-degree sea view of Victoria Harbour and — incredibly rare in Hong Kong — a 1858 square meters private garden.
The house was bought from telecoms magnate, Francis Yu, former deputy chairman of PCCW. Yu bought the place in 2000 for HK$163.5 million ($21.1 million), giving him a more than nine-fold gain in 15 years.
Earlier this week Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, reported financial figures for the second quarter which disappointed investors and caused the company’s shares to slump. But even after the devaluation of the Chinese currency and the share slide Ma still has a personal net worth in excess of $20 billion.
In 2007, Ma previously paid HK$282 million ($36.5 million) for another Hong Kong property in Branksome Crest, Mid-Levels, a deal which was then expected to help him gain Hong Kong permanent residency.
Jack Ma, 50, of Alibaba worth AUD$42 billion, paid 1.5 billion HK dollars (AUD$193 million) for a three-story mansion on Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak.
Here’s the view from the mansion: