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'King Henan' spends NT$1.2 bil. on 3 new flats in 5-minute span

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A mainland-based Taiwanese businessman dubbed “King Henan” recently spent NT$1.19 billion on three units in a luxury apartment complex, bringing the unit price of Taipei's luxury housing to a fresh high of NT$2.98 million per ping.

The luxury apartment complex, known as The Palace (帝寶), the most expensive real estate in Taiwan, is located at an intersection of Renai Road and Jianguo South Road in Taipei. Ping is a customary and traditional unit of measurement in Taiwan which is equivalent to 3.306 square meters.

According to the real estate actual transaction price registration system of the Department of Land Administration (DOL), four units of The Palace were sold during July and August.

The system showed that three units were sold to “King Henan,” or Wang Ren-sheng (王任生), chairman of the Dennis Group based in Henan Province, China. United Evening News cited unknown sources as reporting that Wang made the decision to buy in only five minutes.

The DOL's reading showed that Wang bought the three new units at a costs of NT$1.09 billion, two on the nineteenth floor and one on the thirteenth floor. The two units on the nineteenth floor average NT$2.98 million per ping, setting a new high for unit price per ping for Taiwan's luxury residence property.

Wang's new home on the thirteenth floor of The Palace totals NT$437 million, or NT$2.75 million per ping, and tops the other three latest registered units sold in terms of total transaction price. After the latest deal, Wang has owned six homes in The Palace.

The last of the four units was sold to a Taiwanese-American buyer at a total price of NT$379 million, or NT$2.84 million per ping.

Usually the actual transaction data from the DOL's system is made public the following month but was delayed until yesterday. However, details of transactions at The Palace have never been published since the adoption of the actual price registration system, leading many to question why The Palace has not been required to publish the data.

The MOI yesterday denied that accusation, explaining that each transaction record of The Palace would dictate the property price trend since it is the most expensive luxury apartment complex in Taiwan.

Wang Ren-sheng's tale is a true rags-to-riches story. In 1947 when China's Civil War was in full swing, Wang, then age 13, begged along the way and successfully relocated to the East Taiwanese County of Taitung. He became a teacher and later a school principal.

Setting his sights on Taiwan's economic prospects, he gave up on his career as an educator and started out in the business world by manufacturing and exporting Christmas tree lights and decorations in the 1960s.

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