Billionaire Joseph Lau demands HK$40m cash generated from purchase of One Wanchai apartment from ex-girlfriend must be used to repay Deutsche Bank


18th January 2023 – (Hong Kong) Joseph Lau Luen-hung, Hong Kong fugitive billionaire who is the former chairman of property developer Chinese Estates was spotted with his ex-girlfriend Yvonne Lui Lai-kwan together with 3 bodyguard in Windsor House in Causeway Bay.  He refuted the rumour that they were back together and to avoid misunderstanding, he made a statement formally to explain why they met up. According to Lau, Lui recently reached out to Lau for help due to difficulties, Lau concluded a business agreement with Lui in order not to affect the relationship with their children.

It was subsequently revealed that Lau bought a 1,363sqf apartment on the top floor of One Wanchai, 1 Wan Chai from his ex-girlfriend Lui for HK$40 million, nearly 16% lower than the estimated price of the unit. The sale and purchase agreement between the two parties was concluded on 21st December last year. It is understood that Lau purchased the relevant unit as a first home and he only had to pay a stamp duty at 4.25% of the property value.

Sources confirmed that there were specific transaction terms, that is, the full HK$40 million must be deposited into a Deutsche Bank AG account to repay Lui’s debt. Lui also had to undertake that there was no third party with any legal or equitable interest in the property at the time of the transaction, which was uncommon in general market transactions. In general property transactions, the buyer seldom stipulates how the seller will dispose of the proceeds of the property. The above-mentioned transaction arrangement between the two clearly reflects that Lau wanted Lui to repay her debts from the sale of the property and protect the children.

Lau said earlier in his press conference that he decided to purchase the property in his own name and lease it back to Lui. He claimed that he was only doing it for the sake of their children as he did not want to see foreclosure on the property by bank as the apartment was originally intended to be passed down to them as inheritance.