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Li Ka-Shing Offers Slim Payout Now With Promise of Sweet Returns

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The last time Hong Kong’s richest man rejigged his corporate empire, Li Ka-shing offered a slim payout to minority shareholders, who ended up profiting handsomely anyway. His latest deal may go the same way.

Li’s Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. offered a 2.3 percent discount when it bought Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. earlier this year. Investors got stakes in a larger conglomerate and a property spinoff -- holdings now worth 30 percent more than Hutchison stock before the reshuffle. That beat the benchmark index’s 7.5 percent drop through Wednesday, as well as gains in every other large company trading in Hong Kong.