HK’s richest man Li Ka-shing to retire

By , 25/04/2020 19:38

Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-shing will retire as chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings in May.Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-shing will retire as chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd after the forthcoming annual general meeting on May 10, the ports-to-telecoms conglomerate said in a filing to the Hong Kong bourse.

Li will stay on as senior adviser to the group, it said on Friday.

His eldest son Victor Li, who was named successor several years ago, will take over the reins of the business. Victor, already on the board, is seen as a steady hand unlikely to change course.

During his tenure, Li had increased the pace of overseas acquisitions, helping boost the group’s profits with growth in the European telecoms business offsetting a drop in the value of the British business following Brexit.

Through his flagship CK Hutchison, Li controls the biggest container port operator in the world, Canadian oil giant Husky Energy Inc, one of Europe’s leading telecoms operators, as well as infrastructure assets and a long-time interest in Britain that saw him awarded a knighthood in 2000.

CK Hutchison reported a 6 per cent rise in 2017 profit to $HK35.1 billion ($US4.48 billion), versus the average forecast of $HK34.63 billion from 12 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

The real estate arm CK Asset Holdings Limited saw annual profits surge 55 per cent, also beating estimates.

“Healthy and synchronised growth in major economies gathered pace in 2017. Provided this trend continues and inflation remains benign, the environment in 2018 should remain supportive for global trade and for our businesses,” Li said in a filing to the Hong Kong bourse.

Li, who ranked 23rd on the world’s rich list by Forbes, is the wealthiest tycoon in the former British colony of Hong Kong.

There was a media report last year indicating Li would retire in 2018, but the billionaire businessman had brushed it off, saying he had not yet decided when to step down and that he would stay on as an adviser even after retirement.

CK Hutchison shares closed up 0.3 per cent on Friday, versus a 0.1 per cent fall in the benchmark Hang Seng index.

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