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Wharf wary on China land deals as coronavirus dims 1H outlook

Hong Kong conglomerate says outbreak 'disrupted our planning for the year'

The Wharf (Holdings) is best known as a land owner with several popular office and commercial retail property assets in China and Hong Kong.   © Reuters

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- The Wharf (Holdings), a Hong Kong-listed conglomerate with major exposure to the Chinese property market, signaled on Tuesday that it expects a dismal first half in 2020 because of the novel coronavirus outbreak and that the group will remain "conservative" about land acquisition in the mainland because of price controls that weighed on revenue last year.

The company warned that business in the first quarter of 2020 -- usually a peak period for business as it coincides with the Chinese New Year holiday and related consumption trends -- was already consigned to be a "washout," and that the second quarter "may not fare much better even if markets return to normal quickly."

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