Li Ka-shing, the richest man in Hong Kong, said on Tuesday he was “very disappointed” that the China-backed electoral reform proposal was not passed in Hong Kong, but he reaffirmed that he would not withdraw any investment and would continue to buy land in the city this year, i-Cable reports.
Hong Kong’s legislature rejected in a landslide vote last Thursday the electoral package which would have granted residents the ability to vote for chief executive in 2017, but only from a pool of candidates pre-screened by Beijing. The package was deemed as a “fake” democratic model and was bashed by pro-democracy activists and lawmakers.
“I’m very disappointed. This is all I can say,” Li told reporters after an annual shareholder meeting.
Li, the chairman of developer Cheung Kong Property Holdings and ports-to-telecoms conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings, raised suspicion of investment withdrawal from mainland China and Hong Kong after he sold a number of mainland properties without making new purchases as of recent. He even sold the equity of one of his companies, Hong Kong Electric Company.
Li explained that he had always been interested in buying land in Hong Kong, mainland China and Singapore, but that the cost of the land was over his budget, rendering little profit. He added that he hoped he would be able to make a purchase this year.
Li said Cheung Kong Property Holdings currently has 12,000 retail businesses across the world, and at least 1,000 more will added to the list by the end of next year. At the moment, the company has 600 retail businesses in Hong Kong.
Watch the interview here:
[Images via Hexun News & i-Cable]
By Joyce Ng