Cheung Kong sticking with mainland market, though cautious short term
Cheung Kong (Holdings) has no plans to withdraw its assets from mainland China but will be cautious about making new investments, according to the company’s executive director Justin Chiu-Kwok-hung.
Speaking at a forum on Tuesday, Chiu said Cheung Kong remained confident in China’s market outlook in the medium to long term and would continue its investments on the mainland. However, Chiu said the company has slowed its pace of new acquisitions because of short term market uncertainties such as the rising cost of capital, increased property inventories and uncertain government policies.
“We do not stop buying, but just slow our pace. We will carefully monitor the market changes. We see good prospects in the mainland property market in the medium and long run,” said Chiu.
There has been long running debate since last year over whether the Li Ka-shing family is pulling out of mainland China. Cheung Kong has not acquired any government land sites in Hong Kong since 2013, with analysts saying that the company expected a continuous decline in land prices.
Cheung Kong’s associate Hutchison Whampoa last month said it was planning to sell its 71.36 per cent stake in Hutchison Harbour Ring to Shenzhen-listed Oceanwide Holdings for between HK$3.5 billion and HK$3.8 billion.
Meanwhile, three commercial properties – in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Shanghai – owned by Cheung Kong and Hutchison Whampoa were sold for a total of 12.8 billion yuan (HK$16 billion) last year.
Chiu said the company had made property acquisitions in Dalian, Chengdu, Chongqing and Guangdong province over the past few years.