Date
23 September 2017
Li Ka-shing, his three charitable foundations and his son Victor Li Tzar-kuoi hold a combined 11.62 percent of H shares in Postal Savings Bank of China. Photo: Bloomberg
Li Ka-shing, his three charitable foundations and his son Victor Li Tzar-kuoi hold a combined 11.62 percent of H shares in Postal Savings Bank of China. Photo: Bloomberg

Li Ka-shing takes long-term bet on China’s Postal Bank

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing has made a “long-term investment” in Postal Savings Bank of China Co. (01658.HK), which listed on the city’s stock exchange on Wednesday.

The chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. (00001.HK), his three charitable foundations and his son Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, hold a combined 11.62 percent of H-shares in the Chinese lender, Bloomberg reports, citing an emailed statement on Thursday.

The holdings represent about 2.8 percent of the shares issued by Postal Bank, a stake that’s worth US$1.4 billion at current prices, the report said.

Postal Bank raised US$7.4 billion in its Hong Kong initial public offering, the biggest sale since e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. listed in 2014.

In Thursday’s trading the shares were little changed from its IPO price of HK$4.76 (61.37 US cents).

“Mr. Li Ka-shing is absolutely confident in the bank and thinks it’s a suitable financial investment” for himself and his charities, according to a statement issued separately by Hutchison and the tycoon’s other flagship company Cheung Kong Property Holdings Ltd. (01113.HK).

“Mr. Li Ka-shing considers this project as a long-term investment.”

A fund connected with billionaire George Soros is also among investors in Postal Bank, Caixin reported, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter.

The Postal Bank’s listing marks the end of a wave that started more than a decade ago, with IPOs by China Construction Bank Corp (00939.HK, 601939.CN) and Bank of Communications Co. Ltd. (03328.HK, 601328.CN), according to Reuters.

With a market capitalization of about US$50 billion, Postal Bank ranks far behind China’s “Big Four” banks, but outstrips international peers like Dutch lender ING Groep and Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group Inc., the news agency said.

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CG

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