Hutchison Whampoa ends trading with total return of 36,120pc

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 May, 2015, 10:29pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 May, 2015, 9:09am

Hutchison Whampoa did not go out on a high on its last trading day on Tuesday, but for a stock that listed for HK$5 in 1978 and has returned more than 36,000 per cent, it didn't do so badly either at HK$115.

The conglomerate, which set up shop in Hong Kong in the 1800s and listed in 1978, fell 2.46 per cent to end its 37-year run at HK$115. Its parent, CK Hutchison Holdings, formerly Cheung Kong (Holdings), also lost 4.12 per cent to close at HK$165.1.

According to Reuters data, the stock's total return - including capital gains and dividends - since listing was 36,120 per cent.

As part of the restructuring of the Li Ka-shing group, trading of Hutchison will be suspended from today and it will be delisted on June 3. That same day, CKH will spin off its property business, Cheung Kong Property Holdings (CK Property), marking the completion of the group's largest restructuring since 1997.

"The company was once on the verge of bankruptcy and was going for HK$1," recounted banker and former legislator Chim Pui-chung.

"Some shareholders preferred selling their Hutchison shares instead of taking CKH's share swap offer. Once they accept the offer, they will be left with odd lots that typically command a lower price in the market," said Ricky Tam Siu-hing, chairman of the Hong Kong Institute of Investors.

Under the restructuring plan announced in January, Cheung Kong shareholders will receive one share in the newly registered CKH for every Cheung Kong share they hold, while CKH Holdings will offer Hutchison shareholders 0.684 of one CKH share for every Hutchison share. All eligible CKH shareholders will receive one CK Property share for every CKH Holdings share. For the standard lot of 1,000 CKH shares, Hutchison shareholders will receive 1,461.98 shares, if they still hold the shares.

Hutchison Whampoa, founded by John Duflon Hutchison in 1863, ran into trouble in 1975, after which it was rescued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. HSBC then took a 22 per cent stake in it.

On 25 September 1979, HSBC announced it was selling its stake at HK$7.1 per share to Cheung Kong for HK$639 million.