CK Asset Holdings Ltd (長江實業), the developer founded by billionaire Li Ka-shing (李嘉誠), postponed a planned sale of condominiums in Hong Kong as political protests made it difficult to market the luxury residences.

The homes at 21 Borrett Road would not be offered for sale as scheduled this month, a spokeswoman for the company said yesterday, confirming an earlier report on RTHK radio.

Marketing a luxury project would be difficult under the social atmosphere and there is no fixed schedule for the sale, CK Asset executive director Justin Chiu (趙國雄) told the station.

The apartments would cost at least HK$100 million (US$12.75 million) each, Chiu told RTHK.

That means CK Asset could generate HK$11.5 billion just for the 115 units in the project’s first phase, scheduled to be completed next month. There are 66 units in the second phase.

CK Asset’s decision adds to signs of economic stress in the territory more than two months after protests started against a proposed extradition bill.

Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd (新鴻基地產) has said that it would delay the sale of its residential project in Kowloon District as consumer sentiment was worsening on the social unrest, the South China Morning Post reported this week.

Images of riot police clashing with protesters at Hong Kong International Airport further dented the territory’s reputation as a stable place to do business during the 11th week of protests.

The escalating stakes have raised fears that China would mobilize forces to restore order, a move that could scare away foreign companies and further erode the financial hub’s autonomy.

The Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong on Thursday last week in a statement condemned the violence and called for peace.

Another appeal published in Chinese-language newspapers was issued on Saturday last week, with cosigners including billionaire Henry Cheng (鄭家純) of New World Development Co (新世界發展).

CK Asset chairman Victor Li (李澤鉅) earlier this month said that the demonstrations were causing potential property buyers to adopt a wait-and-see attitude.