Li Ka-shing, Asia's richest man, has launched a succession plan that allows his eldest son, Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, to take the helm of the family property group Cheung Kong (Holdings) and conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa.
Victor Li now owns two-thirds of Li Ka-shing Unity Holdings after his younger brother Richard Li Tzar-kai transferred his one-third holding to him on July 16, according to a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Their father continues to hold the remaining third of Li Ka-shing Unity Holdings, which ultimately controls Cheung Kong, Hutchison and affiliated businesses.
As of June 30, Cheung Kong group companies had total market capitalisation of HK$770 billion, according to the group's official website.
'The filing is a procedure made further to Li Ka-shing's comment expressed at a press conference held after Cheung Kong and Hutchison annual general meetings in May regarding his asset allocation plan,' said a statement issued by Cheung Kong yesterday.
On May 25 Li Snr spelled out the division of his wealth, with Victor, 47, taking control of Cheung Kong and Hutchison Whampoa. Li Ka-shing is chairman of both firms, and Victor (pictured) his deputy.
Li, 84, had said he would provide full financial support for his youngest son to develop other businesses and there would be no conflict among Cheung Kong group businesses.
The magnate was rated last year by Forbes magazine as the ninth-richest person in the world, with an estimated wealth of US$25.5 billion.
Professor Joseph Fan of Chinese University - who has studied family succession in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan for more than 20 years - said the filing confirmed a clean wealth split between the two brothers. This would largely avoid potential disputes among the brothers over the listed companies, he said.
Cheung Kong shares closed up 1.7 per cent at HK$102 yesterday and Hutchison Whampoa shares rose 0.56 per cent to HK$71.30. The benchmark Hang Seng Index closed up 0.4 per cent.