Retirement not on the agenda for Li Ka-shing
Tycoon Li Ka-shing has no worries about Hong Kong's economic outlook. And he's still planning to be part of it, insisting he has no plans to retire despite splitting his wealth between his two sons.
Asia's richest man touched on a range of topics at the announcement of first-half results for his Cheung Kong property empire and Hutchison Whampoa conglomerate, even revealing that he taught his seven grandchildren national education - although he would not be drawn on whether the controversial subject should be taught in schools.
Li expressed confidence that the mainland would achieve its target of 7.5 per cent economic growth this year and said he had no concerns about Hong Kong as 'we have the support from the mainland'.
He also backed a major expansion of public housing, but took a more cautious approach to last year's resumption of the Home Ownership Scheme, which offers cheap flats to those too poor to buy privately and too well off for public housing.
'Would [resumption of the] HOS ... pose a threat to the real estate market? It is better to let the government assess the impact as Hong Kong's tax income partly comes from property,' he said. 'But we should build a large [supply] of public housing.'
Li was more cautious on other topics, including Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying - he supported Leung's rival Henry Tang Ying-yen in March's election. 'I will not answer questions related to politics,' he said.
While he refused to comment on national education in schools, he revealed he was keen to instil national pride in his family.
'I seriously love my country and this city,' he said. 'Even for my grandchildren, I will regularly spare time once a week with them and I design the teaching material [for national education] myself ... but I will not reveal the teaching materials.'
Li recently launched a succession plan that allows eldest son, Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, to take the helm at Cheung Kong and Hutchison Whampoa. Li plans to help his younger son, Richard Li Tzar-kai, develop other businesses. However, Li said 'I will not retire right now'.