Li Ka-Shing Sees Hong Kong Home Prices Fluctuating 10%

Hong Kong’s home prices will fluctuate as much as 10 percent this year given that an uncertain economic outlook may offset higher land prices, Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd Chairman Li Ka-shing said.

“There won’t be big changes,” Li told reporters in Hong Kong before Cheung Kong’s annual dinner yesterday. “It’ll be at most 10 percent on either side. The economy isn’t that great. It’s just so-so.” Still, bidding prices on the city’s plots may be higher, Li said.

Home prices climbed 20 percent last year and reached a record in November on low mortgage rates, an influx of mainland Chinese buyers and a lack of new housing supply. Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who will give his first policy address this month, has imposed three rounds of measures to curb home prices since taking over in July, including a plan to increase land supply.

Li, Asia’s richest man, declined to comment on Leung’s housing policy or his governance. Cheung Kong didn’t reduce investments in Hong Kong, Li said, adding that he has no plans to retire this year.

According to an e-mailed transcript of a speech he was to give at the dinner, Li said Cheung Kong had “an outstanding year” in 2012 as its core operations around the world “achieved solid performances.”

“The geopolitical and economic landscape is ever changing and challenges abound in the future,” Li said, according to the speech, distributed to the media yesterday. “We will maintain a healthy debt ratio, we will vigilantly strengthen our core business and operations, and be agile on investments and technological opportunities.”

Cheung Kong has 260,000 employees globally, Li said.

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