Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (00013.HK) shareholders approved the merger of the company with parent CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. (00001.HK), formerly known as Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd., in a near-unanimous vote on Monday.
About 99.25 percent of the votes at a shareholders’ meeting had been in favor of the merger and reorganization proposal.
Group chairman Li Ka-shing reiterated promises to shareholders that the dividend payout ratios of the merged entity and the property arm that will be spun off soon will be higher than before, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
There are hopes that the entire restructuring can be completed by June 3 if the property business unit spin-off plan is also approved by shareholders after the landmark merger of Li’s flagship firms.
In response to a shareholder’s concerns over the future, Li said the merged group will continue to invest both overseas and in mainland China, just like what Hutchison and Cheung Kong have been doing over the past decades.
Asked about the prospects for the property market, the tycoon said construction costs in Hong Kong have reached a historical high, with labor shortage aggravating the problem.
As the costs are unlikely to come down, property prices will also remain elevated, Li said.
At Monday’s meeting, shareholders also approved the issue of new CKH Holdings shares to the vendor of Husky Energy shares, as per a previously announced share exchange scheme. The proposal received 99.99-percent support.
Translation by Vey Wong
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