September 18, 2020

Li Ka-shing restructures empire, shifts HQ from Hong Kong to Cayman Islands


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li_ka-shing.png__0x400_q95_autocrop_crop-smart_subsampling-2_upscaleBy Glen Korstrom From Business Vancouver

Hong Kong’s wealthiest man remains best known in Vancouver for buying the former Expo ’86 site

Li Ka Shing was one of the founders of Vancouver’s Concord Pacific | Wikipedia

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing is restructuring his empire and shifting his base to the Cayman Islands and away from the Chinese special administrative region.

His January 9 announcement came the same day that Forbes ranked him as Hong Kong’s richest man for the 17th consecutive year, with a total wealth of US$33.5 billion.

Li is best known in Vancouver for buying an 82.5-hectare parcel of land around False Creek for $328 million in 1988 along with partners, who included fellow Hong Kong tycoons, Lee Shau Kee and Cheng Yu Tung.

The group formed Concord Pacific, which redeveloped the site that had been home to Vancouver’s 1986 world’s fair, Expo ’86.

Li cashed out of Concord Pacific in the late 1990s and, in 2007, invested in Deltaport through his Hutchison Port Holdings.

Li’s biggest Canadian holding is his controlling stake in Husky Energy.

He was the largest single shareholder at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) until he sold his stake in 2005.

Li’s reorganization includes combining all non-property assets of his Cheung Kong (Holdings) and its subsidiary Hutchison Whampoa. This would create a new company, CK Hutchison Holdings, which Li wants to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE).

Li would then combine his property assets and create another new company, Cheung Kong Property Holdings, which would also be listed on the HKSE and be one of the largest property companies listed on that exchange, according to the South China Morning Post.

Both new companies would be incorporated in the Cayman Islands, where corporate laws are believed to be looser than in Hong Kong.

That paper cited a 70-page announcement that was filed with the HKSE as saying that the move aims to create shareholder value by enabling all of the group’s assets to be fully reflected and by chopping the “layered holding structure” between Cheung Kong and Hutchison.

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Occupy Central ‘not reason behind Li Ka-shing’s reorganisation of business empire’

By Chim Sau Wai

scmp_05sep14_ns_ma2_sam_7669a_45336359Director of Husky Energy unit also denies changes mean group is getting out of HK

Billionaire Li Ka-shing’s reorganisation of his business empire has nothing to do with Occupy Central, a director of one of his firms insists.

Frederick Ma Si-hang, a former commerce minister and a director of Li’s Canadian oil and gas unit Husky Energy, also denied the shake-up represented the redomiciling of the empire to the tax-friendly Cayman Islands.

Li shocked the city on Friday by announcing that non-property assets of his Cheung Kong (Holdings) and its subsidiary Hutchison Whampoa would be injected into a new company, Caymans-incorporated CK Hutchison Holdings. Property interests will go into another new Caymans-registered entity, Cheung Kong Property Holdings, which will seek a separate listing.

The move followed months of speculation that Li, the plastic-flower factory boss turned property magnate known as “superman” for his investing prowess, was losing interest in his hometown amid political uncertainty.

“An arrangement like this is not done in one day or two. It needs a long time for planning,” Ma said. “I believe they have thought about it for a long time before making the move, and it is not so much related to Occupy Central.” Li did not comment directly on the aims of the Occupy protesters during the 79-day street blockade but did urge the protesters to go home to avoid any “regrets”.

The tycoon said on Friday that more than 75 per cent of companies listed in Hong Kong in the past decade were incorporated in the Caymans, including Chinese state-owned enterprises.

Ma agreed that the changes did not amount to moving the empire’s domicile.

The announcement was made after the close of the Hong Kong bourse. But US depository receipts – through which American investors can trade in the two companies’ securities – rose 10 per cent on Friday evening.

Alex Wong, an asset manager at Ample Finance Group, expects the two firms’ share prices to rise tomorrow.

“Separating property and conglomerate businesses makes [investment choices] clearer for investors with different preferences. It also helps unlock the value, especially of Cheung Kong’s property business,” Wong said.

BNP Paribas analyst Wee Liat Lee said the removal of Cheung Kong’s layered holding structure would help narrow a deep 33 per cent discount to net asset value in the valuation of the company.

IMAGE: Frederick Ma says Li Ka-shing’s reorganisation of his business empire has nothing to do with Occupy Central. Photo: Sam Tsang

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Asia’s richest man just got much wealthier

150112173650-li-ka-shing-620xaBy Sophia Yan   From CNN

Asia’s richest man just saw his wealth leap again.

Shares in companies owned by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-Shing soared Monday after he announced plans to restructure his massive empire and move it to the Cayman Islands.

Property company Cheung Kong (CHEUF) jumped nearly 15%, while investment holding firm Hutchison Whampoa (HUWHF) climbed almost 13% in Hong Kong trading. Both are controlled by Li, 86, worth an estimated $33 billion, according to the Hurun report.

Li’s restructuring plans were announced late on Friday. They will split his assets into a new pair of companies. All real estate holdings will be grouped under CK

Property, while other businesses including energy, retail, utilities and telecoms will be placed under CKH Holdings.

The new companies will be registered and traded in Hong Kong. But they’ll both have their base in the Cayman Islands, a notoriously opaque tax haven.

Li called the restructuring a “watershed event,” and said it will now be easier for investors to decide which businesses they want to buy into, according to a statement.

The overhaul took analysts by surprise, but their reactions have been positive.

The restructuring will streamline and simplify the current structure, under which Cheung Kong holds nearly 50% of Hutchison, wrote Wee Liat Lee and Patrick Wong of BNP Paribas in a note.

Li’s assets span numerous industries, from property to utilities. His name, empire and influence are well-known to residents of Hong Kong.

IMAGE: Li Ka-Shing, Asia’s richest man, is basing his corporate empire in the Cayman Islands

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