Hang Lung says property deal with U.S. consulate to proceed after China's approval

HONG KONG, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Hong Kong developer Hang Lung Properties said its $331.5 million purchase of property owned by the U.S. consulate will proceed after gaining the approval from the Chinese central government.

The deal missed its late December completion schedule after China unexpectedly stepped in and said its approval was needed, a condition the United States had sought to contest amid wide-ranging bilateral tensions.

“Hang Lung is pleased that the Seller has fulfilled the diplomatic protocols and now with the consent from the Central People’s Government of China, the transaction will proceed,” the company said in an emailed statement.

“We are working with the seller on the completion and will make an announcement at the appropriate time.”

A U.S. Consulate General spokesperson said the State Department was not at liberty to comment on the specific terms of ongoing contractual transactions.

Hang Lung agreed in September to buy the property situated on a hill in the south of Hong Kong Island overlooking Deep Water Bay currently used as consulate staff accommodation. It plans to redevelop the site as luxurious detached homes, targeted for completion by 2024. (Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)