(Bloomberg) -- New World Development Co. is planning to trim HK$8 billion ($1 billion) worth of non-core assets this financial year, as concerns about debt dampens share prices. 

The company announced the plans after first-half core profit rose 12% to HK$4.87 billion, following the discontinuation of some operations, it said in a filing on Thursday.

New World needs to sell more assets to boost liquidity after offloading its stake in a subsidiary last year, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence note. High interest rates and a real estate slump have weighed on its ability to repay debt. 

The company will also lower operation expenses, and repurchase bonds in the future, chief executive officer Adrian Cheng said during an earnings press conference on Thursday.  

The Hong Kong developer will speed up home sales with 2,500 units in the next six months, after the city removed levies curbing buyer interest, Cheng said. 

He estimates that Hong Kong’s housing market will see a 40-50% increase in transactions, without providing a time frame. 

Until now, non-residents had to pay a combined 15% tax when purchasing properties, while resident buyers who already own a home were subject to a 7.5% levy. Owners who sold their properties within two years of purchase had to pay extra duties. 

The rate for regular home purchases, which is capped at 4.25%, remains in place. 

Hong Kong’s real estate sector still faces an uphill battle even after the government made its most forceful attempt in years to revive the market. The city’s home prices are expected to continue to fall, even if transaction volume increases, Joseph Tsang, chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. said on Wednesday. 

Shares of New World have sunk 19% this year and reached a 21-year low earlier this month. 

(Updates with executive comments throughout the story)

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