LI Ka-shing yesterday warned that growth of Hong Kong's container port business was slowing and the sluggish trend was likely to continue. Mr Li, chairman of Hutchison Whampoa, yesterday reported the company had flat growth in its port and other shipping-related services in Hong Kong. The company said its port operation subsidiary, Hongkong International Terminals (HIT), which handled about half of the territory's box traffic, had seen a fall in throughput growth in the first half of the year. Growth at several of the 10 terminals owned by HIT had slowed compared with last year's performance. Terminals 4, 6 and 7 achieved six per cent growth in the number of units handled for the first six months, compared with 15.2 per cent growth achieved for the whole of 1994. Mr Li said only Terminal 8, jointly owned by HIT and Cosco Group, achieved improved results, recording throughput of 2.5 million TEUs for the first half. Hong Kong's container throughput rose by 20 per cent last year and Mr Li said he expected the growth to slow this year. The group plans to increase the overall operational productivity and handling capacity of terminals by early next year.