Friday, October 25, 2013
Rumors That Li Ka-Shing Leaving Hong Kong Fade As Supermarket Sale Scrapped
HONG KONG (NQN)--Ever since Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd. said on Oct. 18 it was scrapping its plan to sell its Hong Kong-based PARKnSHOP supermarket chain, concerns have been easing that Li Ka-shing, the head of the conglomerate, will leave Hong Kong.
- Li Ka-shing
Li, often referred to as Hong Kong's "Superman," has played a big role in driving Hong Kong's economic growth. Rumors that Li and the Beijing government are at odds prompted speculation among market players that the tycoon may leave Hong Kong. His decision not to sell PARKnSHOP was welcomed by investors, who took it as a sign that Li is staying put.
It was revealed in July that Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., a key company in the Cheung Kong group, was considering selling PARKnSHOP to Japanese supermarket operator Aeon Co. (8267), U.S. giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other firms. On Oct. 18, however, Hutchison Whampoa announced it was holding onto the firm after all, saying the sale would not sufficiently benefit shareholders.
PARKnSHOP and other Cheung Kong group firms have been undergoing restructuring recently. Power Assets Holdings Ltd., for example, said in late September it would spin off its Hong Kong business and take it public. The utility also said Li would sell part of his stake in the division, adding further fuel to speculation that Li was leaving Hong Kong.
-- Translated from an article by NQN staff writer Noriko Okemoto
(Nikkei Quick News, Oct. 25)