U.K. Election Comes at a Cost to One of Asia's Richest Men

Updated on
  • Britain is Li’s biggest profit generator in his empire
  • CK Hutchison is among biggest losers on Hong Kong stock index

U.K.'s Hung Parliament Meant Losses for Li Ka-Shing

A hung parliament in the U.K. is translating into losses for one of Asia’s richest men.

Li Ka-shing’s CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. and Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd. were among the biggest losers in Hong Kong trading, as the slumping pound cut the value of the companies’ U.K. earnings. Sterling slid 2 percent after Britain’s ruling party lost its majority in a snap election.

Li Ka-shing

Photographer: Justin Chin/Bloomberg

Li has much riding on Britain as the country is the biggest profit generator at the billionaire’s business empire. He operates Superdrug and Savers stores, ports, the Three phone service, as well as gas and electricity distribution. His Hong Kong-based flagship CK Hutchison generated 36 percent of its total earnings before interest and taxes from the country last year.

Li’s companies are falling "because of the currency issue -- there would be a direct impact on their assets and earnings when translated into Hong Kong dollars," said Daniel So, a strategist at CMB International Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong.

The billionaire last year warned that the fallout from the nation’s decision to leave the European Union would last for years.

CK Hutchison dropped as much as 2.3 percent before closing 1.3 percent lower in Hong Kong. Cheung Kong Infrastructure slid 2.1 percent. The city’s benchmark stock index slipped 0.1 percent.

— With assistance by Sofia Horta E Costa

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