Hong Kong Sweepstakes

The 2½-acre site of the old Victoria Barracks, located on the very edge of Hong Kong's commercial district, is prime real estate. Although its buildings are rundown and were abandoned by the British army in 1979, the parcel should have been worth about $250 million on the basis of similar recent real estate sales. But when the Hong Kong government offered it for sale this month, the bids fell "unacceptably" short, and the sale was postponed, victim to uncertainty over the future of the crown colony.

The concern centers on the July 1,...

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