Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Singapore Welcome for Li Ka-Shing Retail Trust

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Singapore Welcome for Li Ka-Shing Retail Trust

Article excerpt

Byline: BILL CONDIE

HONG KONG property developer Cheung Kong, controlled by Asia's richest man, Li Ka-shing, announced today that it will sell five Hong Kong shopping centres to a Singapore unit trust for HK$3.05 billion-$3.11 billion ([pounds sterling]230 million-[pounds sterling]240 million) in cash and then take a significant stake in the firm.

Singapore commentators welcomed the first locally-listed property trust invested in Hong Kong properties, and praised its auspicious name - Fortune Real Estate Investment Trust - which was considered a lucky omen. However, the luck will not rub off on Hong Kong retail investors, as Cheung Kong said the trust would not be marketed to them.

Cheung Kong will subscribe to between 21.4% and 37.4% of Fortune REIT's units while its sister firm Hutchison Whampoa will subscribe to about 12.5%.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong regulators continue to work on rules for a REIT market at home that will not be ready until August. Cheung Kong shares were up 1.88% at HK$48.70.

Lianhua Supermarket Holdings, China's largest retail chain which listed just two weeks ago, was down 1.6% on the day at HK$4.57 but 8.2% higher than at its debut.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 134.6 points at 10,027.0 on the region-wide rally in tech stocks in reaction to strong overnight gains in the US, where the Philadelphia Semiconductor index rose 7.2%. QPL International, which makes integrated circuits, was up 6.3% to HK$1.68 while China's top computer maker, Legend Group, rose 3.73% to HK$2.97.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei broke through 10,000 for the first time since August, but fell back to close at 9898.72, a net gain of 103.56. Technology issues led, with NEC heading higher for the second day, up 4% to 832 yen. …

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