Date
21 July 2017
HKEx chief executive Charles Li has made HK$38 million in a span of 14 days thanks to the surging Hong Kong stock market. Photo: Bloomberg
HKEx chief executive Charles Li has made HK$38 million in a span of 14 days thanks to the surging Hong Kong stock market. Photo: Bloomberg

How Charles Li made a tidy HK$38 mln in two weeks

Thanks to ultra-bullish sentiment in the Hong Kong stock market, the share price Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. (HKEx, 00388.HK) has surged 50 percent since the Easter holiday.

That made chief executive Charles Li, who owns a chunk of HKEx shares, about HK$38 million (US$4.9 million) richer in a span of 14 days.

For perspective, that’s more than his Singapore counterpart, Magnus Bocker, makes in a year.

Li’s wealth could keep climbing given that the stock market party has just begun.

Also, the trading quota for the Shanghai-Hong Kong equity link is expected to be significantly increased amid surging demand.

That comes on top of the imminent launch of a similar stock trading scheme between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

In the meantime, investors believe that mainland capital will continue to flow into Hong Kong.

Li owns 392,395 shares of HKEx, according to its 2014 annual report. That stake is worth about HK$110 million at the stock’s last traded price of HK$290.

Li ‘s basic salary is roughly HK$20 million.

Norman Chan, chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, reportedly received HK$10.5 million in basic salary, bonuses and other benefits in 2014.

Bocker, who leaves in June as head of Singapore Exchange, got S$3.78 million (US$2.77 million) in the 2014 fiscal year, according to Bloomberg.

By comparison, Robert Greifeld, chief executive of Nasdaq OMX Group, earned US$13.8 million in total compensation in 2013, the latest year for which data is available.

Jeffrey Sprecher, head of the New York Stock Exchange, was paid US$18 million in the same period.

Although HKEx looks overbought, some experts and financial analysts are confident the counter still has room to grow.

Goldman Sachs is the most bullish on HKEx. The group raised its target price to HK$355 and a best-case HK$410, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

Andrew Look, founder of Look’s Asset Management, sees HKEx at HK$500 a share in three years, according to property investor Jacinto Tong.

Look liquidated his fund in March due to poor health. Also, his parents died last year.

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RA

EJ Insight writer

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