• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 9:12am

Li Ka-Shing

Often referred to as “Superman” in Hong Kong because of his business prowess, Li Ka-shing is the richest businessman in Asia, and chairs conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong Holdings, a property group. Li turned Cheung Kong Industries into a top property group, and Cheung Kong expanded to acquire Hutchison Whampoa in 1979 and Hongkong Electric in 1985. Li is a noted philanthropist and heads a charitable foundation that is a shareholder in Facebook.


Li Ka-shing sells bulk share of port terminal to mainland shipping giants

Tycoon unloads 60 per cent of Terminal 8 West to mainland shipping giants for HK$2.5 billion, raising doubt over commitment to Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 March, 2014, 8:15pm
UPDATED : Friday, 04 April, 2014, 10:27am

Tycoon Li Ka-shing has sold the bulk of his stake in a port terminal, disposing of another asset in Hong Kong and raising fresh questions about his oft-repeated claim that he has confidence in the city and will not withdraw.

The port arm of Li, Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (HPHT), decided to sell a 60 per cent stake in Hong Kong Terminal 8 West for HK$2.47 billion to two mainland shipping conglomerates. The pair are Cosco Pacific, which acquired the 40 per cent stake, and China Shipping Terminal Development, which bought a 20 per cent share.

Gerry Yim, HPHT chief executive, said the deal would improve port operations in terms of flexibility, efficiencies, synergies and profitability.

Analysts digested the latest significant move by Li.

"Li has long lost confidence in the Hong Kong port business when he decided to spin off the operations of HPHT in the Singapore Exchange in 2011," an industry analyst said. Others demurred, saying the move was consistent with the strategy where he spun off his holdings in Hong Kong Electric and considered selling ParknShop last year.

"The port business is still a cash cow but the ports in Hong Kong have turned mature and could register low growth," said Benjamin Lo, an analyst at Nomura International.

Li has long lost confidence in the Hong Kong port business when he decided to spin off the operations of HPHT in the Singapore Exchange in 2011
Industry analyst

"The company is in the process of monetising low-growth assets which have good valuations when the interest rate environment is favourable and to deleverage the balance sheet ahead of an upcycle in the interest rate."

Hong Kong port has been overtaken by Shenzhen as the world's third busiest container terminal. The city's dock strike last year prompted shipping lines to divert cargoes to Shenzhen and most have not returned.

Li, Asia's richest man, gave a downbeat assessment of Hong Kong last month, warning that the Occupy Central campaign, the harassment of mainland tourists and declining competitiveness with neighbouring markets would erode the city's prospects. But in November he had dismissed suggestions that he was pulling out of the city as a "big joke".

The sale of the terminal came a year after HPHT acquired the entire stake of Asia Container Terminals, the operator of T8 West, from DP World terminals.

Talks between HPHT and Cosco Pacific began in June after operations in Li's Hong Kong International Terminals were paralysed by the 40-day strike that ended on May 6. The dispute became so bitter that striking dock workers placed a demon-like effigy of Li in front of the Cheung Kong building, the headquarters of his flagship company.

After selling the 60 per cent stake in T8 West, HPHT will continue running the T4, T6,T7 and T9 terminals in Hong Kong.

HPHT saw its earnings sink 25 per cent year-on-year in 2013 to HK$1.67 billion as the volume of business at its Hong Kong port operations declined 12.4 per cent.


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This article is now closed to comments

This is only to be expected given the guy's recent comments. He is not getting the things his way so with no favours from both the central and HK governments he thinks he had better cash out before things take a worse turn for him. Its time for his exit to pave way for other younger and more enthusiastic entrepreneurs.
He's a businessman, a "hunter of profit". He will go where the profits can be hunted.
It is in his blood to buy low and sell high. He has said that certain assets will never be for sale, but offer him enough profit and you've got a deal.
John Adams
Bye Bye LKS
We won't miss you, nor your money.
Hope you take your two sons with you
Only a fool would believe anything that LKS says these days............he is trying to take whatever money he can get out of HK to his grave.
Don't forget from where & on whose sweat he made his fortune!
There is a saying here: when he sells you something, it is clear
who the sucker is. He has been buying in Europe which is
brilliant short HK, long world:-$
Hoping this leads to a faster decline of terminals in HK. The entire industry is the biggest emitter of pollution. Economic gains from this industry do not trickle back into society. The land used, which is very flat and very large, could be used for housing development instead, which is to the benefit to all of HK.
Chris Yu
As expected. He has planned to shift his market to european countries. HK is no longer for him to make a huge profit.
John Adams
Agreed 100 %
Read Jake van der Kamp on this subject
It's funny to read the comments. People are unhappy he leaves but do not want to listen to the bitter truth he is uttering about HK's declining competitiveness (including no attention to education and innovation).




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