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1980s

Hong Kong was at its full gear of economic development in the 1980s, gradually transforming the city from an industry-driven economy into one that relied more heavily on service industry, especially tourism. Massive scale of infrastructure projects were launched to cope with the development. Discerning the needs driven by local developments, Dr Lui made a number of trips to Europe, the US and Japan to explore new production technology. Innovative techniques for producing ready-mixed concrete and sewage pipes were adopted to enhance efficiency and safety. K. Wah Concrete Co. Limited was established in 1983, symbolizing the vertical development of the company as it turned into an integrated construction materials supplier, encompassing quarrying, stone products, washed sand, asphalt, concrete and precast concrete production.

Establishing a strong foothold in Hong Kong, an international financial centre, K. Wah International Holdings Limited (previously K. Wah Stones (Holdings) Limited) was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (stock code: 00173) in 1987. Specializing in property development and other investments, the listing not only completed the company’s management structure and system, but also enhanced its reputation and attracted talents to join the team.

Meanwhile, K. Wah foresaw the vast potential which Mainland China possessed and started to look for investment opportunities to widen its scope of business. Capturing the economic opening up and rapid urban development in Mainland China, K. Wah was actively investing in various construction materials projects in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Eastern China, being one of the earliest companies to enter the Mainland market.

K. Wah also landed in North America in the 1980s. Based in San Francisco, subsidiary branches - Stanford Hospitality, Cresleigh Homes and Cresleigh Properties guided their hospitality as well as residential and commercial properties businesses respectively. At the same time, K. Wah also penetrated the property market in Southeast Asia including Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, gradually transforming the Group into an international enterprise.