17 November 2019
Tycoon Li Ka-shing is 86 years young today. Photo: HKEJ
Tycoon Li Ka-shing is 86 years young today. Photo: HKEJ

Happy birthday, Mr Li!

Eighty-six years ago, the richest man in Hong Kong today was born.

Tycoon Li Ka-shing has seen his wealth grow with age to total US$35 billion after 60 years of hard work, according to Forbes. Like Warren Buffett, Li is a man with the Midas touch — which is why so many in the media and in shareholder sessions hang on his every word. When he speaks, people listen.

All ears will be alert for any hints he will drop when his flagship Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa report their interim results this Friday.

Alas Mr Li will not be able to field any questions at the upcoming gathering beyond those on his companies’ results. Any quizzing about politics or the world economy will be off-limits but we will try our best to mail in questions on where the 86-year-old sees investment opportunities — given that he is probably one of the oldest investors in Facebook, not to mention Spotify and BitPay.

So does he like Facebook? How often does he log in? What games does he like to play? Is there a seniors market there? I suppose any interesting answer could propel the hot stock to a record high.

Likewise he could take a crack at giving some opinions on his latest personal investment in plant-based fake eggs. For example, how does keep his cholesterol in check?

I also notice he’s acquiring a Toronto airport car parking service called Park’N Fly. Will there be synergy with his retail business ParknShop?

Then, of course, there are the billions of dollars raised this year by selling down AS Watson and properties from luxurious to subdivided flats in Hong Kong. We keep wondering what sort of investment he has in mind, particularly when most people his age are interested only in iBonds.

Stay tuned for the emailed reply from Hong Kong’s most media friendly fortune-teller. For the time being, happy birthday Mr Li and thanks for all the fun times we have had in your question-and-answer sessions.

You are the most humorous chairman we have in this city. We shall send you a birthday cake and an egg in 10 days time when you officially celebrate your lunar birthday. We also wish you longevity so you can chair the meeting to 100 and beyond. That would be real fun.

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EJ Insight writer