Li Ka-shing, the 89-year-old richest man in Hong Kong, pulled the curtain on a busy career in front of an audience of journalists on Thursday. “I will miss you, you have always been my friends,” he told them. When asked about the success of which he was most proud, the businessman replied, “I did the best I could, I will continue to work, I will just do different things”, he said. he smilingly confided to the journalists gathered around his car before his departure.
Mr. Li, founder of a sprawling empire spanning some 50 countries, in sectors ranging from retail trade, telecommunications to services and container ports, had announced his departure in March. The retirement of Hong Kong’s most iconic businessman is not expected to impact his industrial empire, analysts said.
Mr. Li, whose principal companies are CK Hutchison, CK Asset Holdings, CK Infrastructure Holdings and Power Assets Holdings, has become a symbol of the former British colony that returned to China in 1997. Investors from Hong Kong and Asia were closely watching the actions of the man who has been nicknamed “Superman” for his business acumen. Its decisions, which gave the markets, were likely to affect the prices of real estate and services in the semi-autonomous territory.
In 1950 he created his first business, a plastic flower factory called Cheung Kong, Cantonese name of the Yangtze River, with 8,700 dollars. He then invested heavily in real estate, making a fortune in the 1960s, before multiplying the incursions in many sectors: distribution, telecom, services … For a long time, the magnate was also interested abroad , investing particularly in real estate and energy in Canada in the 1980s. In Franceil had bought in 2005 the perfumery group Marionnaud. No one knows at this stage whether or not the retirement of the billionaire of Hong Kong will result in a strategic change within the group, and the sale of any of its many foreign investments.