Shares in companies controlled by Li Ka-shing were mixed following a report the Hong Kong billionaire planned to step down as the chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings by next year.
The moves followed a report in the Wall Street Journal at 11.54am local time – just before the Hong Kong market broke for lunch – that Mr Li, who turns 89 in July, has told associates of his plans to step down by his 90th birthday.
“Mr Li has from time to time talked about his retirement and his confidence in Victor to lead the company. Mr Li is in very good health and will make his official announcement when he decides to retire,” a spokesperson for CK Hutchison said in an emailed response to the Financial Times.
CK Hutchison is Mr Li’s flagship company, which in turns holds stakes in CKI (formerly known as Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings), utility company Power Assets Holdings and Cheung Kong Property Holdings, all of which are listed on the Hong Kong Exchange.
Shares in CK Hutchison were flat after lunch, having entered the break 0.4 per cent higher but seemingly unmoved by the report.
CKI was up 0.1 per cent after lunch. Its share price took a slide around the time the story was published, which may have been a reaction to the news, leaving it 0.4 per cent lower at the break.
Power Assets was 0.1 per cent weaker, having been 0.2 per cent lower ahead of lunch but also seemingly unmoved by the news at the time. Cheung Kong Property was up 0.7 per cent after lunch, in line with where it entered the break.
The benchmark Hang Seng was down 0.2 per cent.