Henderson Land

Property tycoon ready to keep HK$1 billion charity promise as Hong Kong stocks hit 10-year high

Henderson Land chairman Lee Shau-kee said in his biography that he would donate the sum if Hang Seng Index climbed above 30,000

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 November, 2017, 9:42am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 November, 2017, 11:50am

Property tycoon Lee Shau-kee is ready to honour his promise to donate HK$1 billion (US$128 million) to charitable projects after the Hang Seng Index climbed above 30,000 points on Wednesday, its highest level in a decade.

The index, a benchmark of 51 constituent stocks, ended at 30,003.49, leaving it 5.4 per cent shy of the all-time high of 31,958.41 set a decade ago on October 30, 2007.

A spokeswoman for the Henderson Land chairman told the Post after trading closed on Wednesday that Lee would keep his promise and make a final decision on which projects to support with his HK$1 billion by the end of this year.

The market value of the property conglomerate is more than HK$207.2 billion, with its stock closing at HK$51.80 per share on Wednesday. With a fortune of HK$185.4 billion, according to the 2017 Forbes ranking of Hong Kong tycoons, Lee is the second richest man in the city after CK Hutchison Holdings chairman Li Ka-shing.

The 89-year-old billionaire has been collecting proposals from non-governmental organisations and schools over the past few months and has shortlisted 10 for further consideration, according to the spokeswoman.

Though she declined to disclose details of the candidate projects, the spokeswoman said the final winners might include “charities and education programmes”.

In his second biography, published in 2010, Lee made the promise that he would give away HK$1 billion if the Hang Seng Index climbed above 30,000 points again and HK$2 billion if it went beyond 40,000 points.

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In June 2015, Lee predicted that the Hang Seng Index would go beyond 30,000 points if Hongkongers accepted an electoral reform proposal prepared by the government following restrictions laid down by Beijing.

Two weeks later, the proposal was vetoed by the Legislative Council.

According to Lee’s website, he has donated more than HK$1 billion to nine universities in Hong Kong and six billion yuan (over HK$7 billion) to three top-tier universities on the mainland.