Billionaire Li Takes Long-Term Bet on Newly Listed Postal Bank

  • Tycoon, son, charities take 2.8% stake in Chinese lender
  • Postal Bank started trading in Hong Kong on Wednesday

Li Ka-shing.

Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg

Billionaire Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest person, has made a “long-term investment” in Postal Savings Bank of China Co., which listed on the city’s stock exchange Wednesday.

The chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd., his three charitable foundations and his son Victor Li, hold a combined 11.62 percent of H-shares in the Chinese lender, according to an e-mailed statement Thursday. That’s about 2.8 percent of the shares issued by Postal Bank, a stake that’s worth $1.4 billion at current prices.

Li Ka-shing

Photographer: Justin Chin/Bloomberg

Postal Bank raised $7.4 billion in its Hong Kong initial public offering, which was the biggest sale since e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. listed in 2014. The shares traded at HK$4.77 as of 3:35 p.m. local time on Thursday, little changed from its IPO price of HK$4.76.

“Mr. Li Ka-shing is absolutely confident in the bank and thinks it’s a suitable financial investment” for himself and his charities, according to a statement issued separately by Hutchison and the tycoon’s other flagship company Cheung Kong Property Holdings Ltd. “Mr. Li Ka-shing considers this project as a long-term investment.”

A fund connected with billionaire George Soros is also among investors in Postal Bank, Caixin reported Wednesday, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter. Soros Fund Management and the Chinese lender didn’t respond to requests for comment.