Asia’s richest man managed to raise profits at his primary property firm by 10 percent in 2013 by selling off properties in China, even as the contribution from the company’s Hong Kong operation fell into a slump.
Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd, which is the parent company for Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa and ARA Asset Management reported net income of HK$35.3 billion (US$4.5 billion) for 2013, up from HK$32 billion the previous year, according to statements to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
During 2013, the Hong Kong-based Li took a bearish stance on China’s property sector, stating publicly that land prices had gone too high.
Three Major China Asset Sales in 2013
During October last year, Li’s Cheung Kong, along with its Hutchison subsidiary sold the Oriental Financial Centre in Shanghai’s Lujiazui area for US$1.155 billion, in the second major asset disposal for the billionaire’s companies in China during the year.
During September, Hutchison and Cheung Kong announced that they were selling the Metropolitan Plaza in Guangzhou’s Liwan district for US$390.7 million.
The company has continued to sell of China assets in 2014, with the sale of the Nanjing IFC last month for RMB2.48 billion to a local private company.
Hong Kong Performance Down
According to a statement from the company, Cheung Kong’s 2013 property sales in Hong Kong “were much lower” than in 2012. New duties placed on home sales in an attempt to cool down a property bubble helped to contribute to the downturn, and mainland buyers who had been crowding into the market are now in many cases purchasing homes in Australia, the London and other markets which appear to give better value.