|Bid||113.800 x 0|
|Ask||113.900 x 0|
|Day's Range||113.700 - 115.400|
|52 Week Range||99.500 - 142.000|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.14|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||7.35|
|Earnings Date||Sep 9, 2019 - Sep 13, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||4.95 (4.33%)|
|1y Target Est||145.04|
Nov.23 -- Alex Wong, director of asset management at Ample Capital, explains why he likes Tencent, Amazon and Sun Hung Kai Properties. He speaks with Rishaad Salamat and David Ingles on "Bloomberg Markets: China Open."
Sun Hung Kai Properties, the largest developer by value in the world's least affordable housing market, said its hotel and shopping centre businesses have been hit hard by the protests that are shaking Hong Kong to its core and deterring visitors.Occupancy rates at the company's hotels have plunged on average by 30 to 40 per cent, with some hotels finding themselves just half full, said Raymond Kwok, chairman and managing director of the company."Fewer customers came when a lot of Western countries issued travel warnings so the hotel industry has been affected quite a lot," said Kwok.He was commenting on Thursday evening after revealing that the company's underlying profit jumped 6.6 per cent to HK$32.39 billion (US$4.14 billion) in the year to June 30. The protests that marked the start of Hong Kong's unprecedented political crisis started on June 9, so would have had a negligible impact on the figure.Hong Kong's tourism industry has suffered its worst downturn in more than a decade, with arrivals plunging almost 40 per cent in August from a year earlier.Market sentiment has been battered by massive street rallies that are now stretching into their 14th week.The demonstrations, initially against a now-abandoned extradition bill but now calling for broader democratic reform, have come on top of the protracted US-China trade war which had already drained appetite for property in Hong Kong. Hong Kong tourism suffers worst downturn since Sars outbreak in 2003Kwok, whose company is also the largest private shopping-centre owner in Hong Kong, said malls such as New Town Plaza had been affected. Those catering primarily to tourists or mainland visitors have been the hardest hit."Now is still late September. I hope tourist [numbers] will recover and they will come more," said Kwok. "In the first half of the year, sales at the shopping centres increased. Of course, it reduced in July and August."For New Town Plaza, it is most important to protect customers and the staff [during the protests]. It has been necessary to spend more on security expenses."On certain days, of course, if there are too many people protesting, we have to ask tenants to close to avoid affecting the safety of the tenants' staff. After it becomes peaceful, we plan to have more promotions."Raymond Kwok, chairman and managing director, Sun Hung Kai Properties, discusses the challenges as he reveals the developer's financial results on September 12. Photo: K. Y. Cheng alt=Raymond Kwok, chairman and managing director, Sun Hung Kai Properties, discusses the challenges as he reveals the developer's financial results on September 12. Photo: K. Y. ChengThe residential market is not faring much better.The gains in home prices seen in the first half of the year will be erased, said Victor Lui, deputy managing director of Sun Hung Kai Properties, who is responsible for residential sales."In the past few months, the housing market has slowed because of the US-China trade war and the social upheaval," said Lui. "Home prices at year-end will be more or less at the level of the beginning of the year." Outlook for Hong Kong retail rents bleak as trade war and protests dampen salesThe average price of used homes across Hong Kong fell 0.7 per cent from May to July, according to figures released by the Rating and Valuation Department. The Centa-City Leading Index slid 1.6 per cent from the end of July to September 1.Kwok said he "worried" about the violence sparked by the political crisis, particularly conflicts between families members and friends as well as between Hongkongers and mainlanders.Taking into account a revaluation gain on investment properties of HK$12.86 billion, Sun Hung Kai Properties' net profit amounted to HK$44.91 billion.Revenue eased 0.4 per cent to HK$85.30 billion.The final dividend proposed was HK$3.7, up 7.2 per cent from a year ago.Ahead of the results announcement, Sun Hung Kai Properties' share price dipped 0.8 per cent to close at HK$116.9 on Thursday.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2019 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
On a sunny morning in early September 2010, Hong Kong's wealthiest man Li Ka-shing was invited to speak in Shenzhen and was granted an exclusive audience with then Chinese President Hu Jintao.What was unusual about the episode, held during a commemoration of Shenzhen's 30th anniversary as the special economic zone to spearhead China's economic reforms, was that Li was the sole Hongkonger to be received by China's head of state. He was also the only Hong Kong businessman to speak at Shenzhen's birthday party, sharing the limelight with three hometown captains of industry: BYD's Chairman Wang Chuanfu, China Merchant Holdings' Chairman Fu Yuning and Tencent Holdings' founder Pony Ma Huateng.The episode, a capstone of Li's corporate career, illustrates his apex position where Hong Kong's business intersects with politics, a status that won him the "Superman" sobriquet for his wheeling-dealing prowess. It also underscores the cosiness between Hong Kong's tycoons and government " both locally and extending to Beijing " a nexus blamed by many of the city's street protesters today as the major cause of their woes: one of the developed world's widest income gaps in the least affordable housing market on earth.As Hong Kong's unprecedented outbursts of civic unrest enter their 14th week, the link between business and politics " and its implication for the daily lives of the city's 7.5 million residents " is coming under increasing scrutiny, while activists, policymakers and academics alike seek to explain the anger that seethes under one of Asia's most prosperous urban centres.Chinese President Hu Jintao during an exclusive meeting with Cheung Kong Holdings Limited's chairman Li Ka-shing on September 6, 2010 during the 30th anniversary commemoration of Shenzhen as a special economic zone. Photo: XinhuaThe roots of Hong Kong's entangled ties between business and politics can be traced to the city's colonial history, when hometown business elites were also local community leaders, endorsed and endowed by administrators with influence and leadership roles.In the city's first post-colonial administration after 1997, businessmen made up eight of the 11 non-official members of Tung Chee-hwa's cabinet. The ratio was little changed at 70 per cent under Tung's successor Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, falling to half during Leung Chun-ying's term from 2012 to 2017.Chinese President Jiang Zemin (right) during a meeting with the late Henry Fok Ying-tung (left) in Beijing on June 23, 2000. Photo: SCMPThe ties between business and politics extend all the way to Beijing.When Chinese officials took over Hong Kong from the British colonial government in 1997, they kept wooing the city's biggest hongs, banks and conglomerates to show that the 'one country, two systems' formula of a capitalist market economy within China's socialism could work, said Lau Siu-kai, vice-president of The Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, a semi-official think tank."Beijing assured them the safety of their investments, and allowed them bigger political influence to stabilise the [environment to increase investors' confidence]," Lau said. Hong Kong mulls over emergency law to quell protestsThe Chinese government saw the need to engage Hong Kong's elites in the country's political process during the 1980s, inviting the first batch of Hongkongers to become delegates to the sixth Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).Among the 44 delegates serving from 1983 until 1988 were Hopewell Holdings' founder Gordon Wu Ying-sheung, and the late Henry Fok Ying-tung. Fok was Forbes' seventh wealthiest man of Hong Kong when he died in 2006, with businesses that spanned real estate, restaurants, and a stake in Macau's biggest casinos.Three generations of Fok men sat on the Chinese legislature's advisory body. Fok himself had a seat in the legislature, the National People's Congress, and was a member of the drafting committee for Hong Kong's Basic Law, as the city's mini constitution is known. His eldest son Timothy Fok Tsun-ting was a delegate in the 11th and 12th CPPCC from 2008 to 2018, while eldest grandson Kenneth Fok Kai-kong is a delegate in the current 13th CPPCC that serves from 2018 to 2023."Beijing issued strict guidelines about the meeting in recent years, but enforcement began this year," said CPPCC delegate Christopher Cheung Wah-fung, a lawmaker representing Hong Kong's financial services industry. "We are required to arrive before meetings start and are not allowed to leave during the proceedings. Any delegate who could not attend has to explain his or her absence. We are expected to attend even the lunches and dinners during the conference period."As the ranks of Hongkongers grew over the years in the CPPCC, tripling to 156 in the current term, so did the representation of tycoons and business elites. Ten of the current delegates hail from the city's wealthiest families on Forbes' Hong Kong Richest 2019 list. Is China using protests to chip away at Hong Kong's economic freedoms?There's Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, the elder of "Superman" Li's two sons and the chairman of CK Hutchison and CK Asset Holdings. Peter Lee Ka-kit, co-chairman of Henderson Land Development and the elder son of Hong Kong's second-richest man Lee Shau-kee, is also a delegate. And there's Raymond Kwok Ping-luen, chairman of the city's most-capitalised developer Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP), the youngest of three brothers with a combined wealth estimated at US$40 billion in 2017.To be sure, tycoons are not exactly the class enemy in China's legislature, which has 104 dollar billionaires sitting in the 2019 legislature according to Hurun Report, with their combined wealth estimated at 3.4 trillion yuan (US$504 billion). By comparison, the 50 richest members of the US Congress were worth a combined US$2 billion in 2016.Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, then the deputy chairman of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited and Peter Lee Ka-kit, vice-chairman of Henderson Land Development, at a meeting of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing on 3 March 2013. Photo: Simon Song.A consequence of the growing influence of billionaires is the widening income gap in Hong Kong and a further concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, said Lau.The fortunes of Hong Kong's 75 wealthiest billionaires " estimated at US$224 billion in 2013 " made up nearly 82 per cent of the city's gross domestic product, according to Wealth-X's Billionaire Census. By last year, the tycoon class had ballooned to 93 with US$315 billion in assets, or 86.6 per cent of the city's GDP, the census showed.The remainder of Hong Kong's population became poorer, with a record 1.37 million residents living below the poverty line last year, eking out a living on as little as HK$4,000 (US$510) a month, according to government data.The growing ranks of billionaires in Hong Kong's CPPCC delegation underscore their outsize influence in the city's economy.Nearly 45 per cent of all residential property sold in Hong Kong are built by the city's five biggest developers: CK Assets of the Li family, SHKP of the Kwoks, Henderson Land of the Lee family, New World Development of the Chengs and Sino Land of the Ng family.Three of Hong Kong's four mobile phone network operators are also subsidiaries of the developers: Hutchison Telecommunications is a unit of CK Hutchison, chaired by Victor Li, while Hong Kong Telecommunications (HKT) is a unit of PCCW, chaired by his younger brother Richard Li Tzar-kai. SmarTone Mobile Communications is owned by SHKP. Prices of lived-in homes drop for second month amid protests, trade warThe concentration of wealth and political power has not gone unnoticed, or been without controversies, deepening the schism between the haves and the have-nots in Hong Kong.They include the HK$13 billion Cyberport project initiated by Hong Kong's first Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, conceived in the wake of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis to develop information and communications technology in Hong Kong.Built on 26 hectares of land in Pok Fu Lam on the south side of Hong Kong Island, the project comprised four office towers and a five-star hotel that took up two-thirds of the land area, while the remaining one third yielded 4.39 million square feet of oceanfront residential real estate.The entire project was awarded in 1999 to Richard Li's Pacific Century Group without an open tender.Another controversy was the 40-hectare West Kowloon Cultural District that was awarded in 2005 to a single developer out of three competing bids. Even though the HK$40 billion project was conceived after a 1996 tourism survey that lamented Hong Kong's dearth of cultural venues, it was criticised as a real estate development in disguise.Smaller, cash-poor developers were particularly unhappy at being shut out by the hefty price tag, with casino tycoon Stanley Ho's family-controlled Shun Tak Holdings openly criticising the single-developer approach. Ho was president of the Real Estate Developer's Association (Reda), the powerful lobby group of the city's developers.Hong Kong's government, which earns about 30 per cent of its annual fiscal revenue from selling land, tightened supply during the administration of Donald Tsang, the city's second Chief Executive, who took over after his predecessor Tung resigned in 2005.The career civil servant " he coined the phrase "caring capitalism" while he was the city's Financial Secretary in 1996 " suspended the construction and sale of Home Ownership Scheme flats to arrest an unprecedented decline in real estate prices, and replaced land auctions with a closed tender system.Donald Tsang Yam-kuen leaves the Court of Final Appeal in Central after his final appeal on 14 May 2019. The former Chief Executive, who was found guilty in 2017 of misconduct, had his conviction quashed on June 26, 2019. Photo: SCMP/Winson WongThe result of the policies was a 57 per cent plunge in the city's annual housing supply from 59,800 units in 2006 to 25,700 homes by 2016, comprising private, subsidised and public rental apartments. The shortage caused home prices to soar over a decade, laying the ground for a property bull run that continued until the end of 2018.As home prices soared, affordability went out the window for many first-home buyers, so developers began building ever-smaller abodes " they require smaller down payments " for young families.At the depth of the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis, HK$3 million (US$382,400) fetched a flat measuring 686 square feet (64 square metres) on average, according to Midland Realty. Two decades later in 2018, the living space had shrank to 200 sq ft for the same price, while rents have soared 200 per cent.The smallest flat currently available for sale in Hong Kong costs HK$1.73 million for 128 sq ft, smaller than a standard car parking space or a prison cell, while the smallest flat for lease measures 61 sq ft, for HK$10,000 per month.Dismal living conditions and a yawning income gap have led to a groundswell of simmering anger, akin to a tinderbox awaiting a spark.What began on June 9 as a peaceful march by an estimated 1 million people to protest against a controversial extradition bill has since deteriorated into 12 weeks of frequent clashes between police and protesters.Many of Hong Kong's street protesters may have been driven by "poor living conditions" amid the city's "excessive wealth concentration," said the former CPPCC delegate and Hopewell founder Wu. "People ask why our incomes go to the government and the people who own land," said Wu, the 43rd-richest man in Hong Kong, according to Forbes.The concentration of wealth and influence is also creating an uneven playing field for Hong Kong's mid-size developers, forcing them to look elsewhere for growth as they are squeezed out by cash-rich rivals."Hong Kong land is too expensive," said Chris Hoong, managing director of Far East Consortium, a minnow with HK$8.4 billion in value, a 10th of the average capitalisation among Hong Kong's bigger publicly traded developers.For small businesses, and even large professional firms and luxury retailers, high rents put the squeeze on earnings, making landlords and developers the ultimate winners, said Joe Chau Kwok-ming, president of 3,200-member Hong Kong General Chamber of Small & Medium Business.Expensive housing costs also spill over into higher salaries for the workforce. Rents make up a third of the total costs of Hong Kong's small enterprises, which account for 98 per cent of the city's commercial life, while wages make up another one third, Chau said.The cosiness between Hong Kong's business elites and Chinese politics has shifted subtly since Xi Jinping ascended to China's highest office in 2012.Former presidents Hu and Jiang Zemin " and also former vice-president Zeng Qinghong " used CK Asset's Harbour Grand Hotel in Hung Hom as their temporary residence during their Hong Kong visits. Li and his sons would join Jiang for breakfast.Those private meetings have ceased since Xi came to power. China's leaders nowadays were holding fewer meetings with Hong Kong tycoons when they visited the city to avoid potential criticism that they were focusing only on rich people, analysts said. Sino Land chairman urges end to protests hurting city's economyNot long after a 2015 military parade in Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the second world war - attended by Li's two sons but not the elder Li - the family undertook a sweeping reorganisation of its business empire to pave the way for the patriarch's retirement three years later.The family diversified its sprawling businesses, which touch virtually every aspect of a Hongkonger's daily life from CK Asset's property to two of the city's four mobile phone networks to shopping at AS Watsons retail shops or Park'N'Shop supermarkets, and oil and imported containers handled by CK Hutchison's ports.Europe now contributes 55 per cent to CK Hutchison's first-half earnings, while Hong Kong makes up a mere 3 per cent, and mainland China accounts for 10 per cent.Change had also been afoot in Hong Kong. The incumbent Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who unleashed the worst political crisis in Hong Kong's history with her controversial extradition bill, appointed the fewest businessmen to her cabinet in two decades, with just seven of 16 non-official members, or 43 per cent, from the corporate sector.Still, the question amid all the unprecedented public unrest is how Beijing or the city government can ease the tension, bridge the social divide and narrow wealth disparity when conflicts had been deepened."Have you seen any proposal by any of the tycoons [on the CPPCC delegation] to eliminate the conflicts between Hong Kong and mainland China?" asked Chung Kim-wah, an assistant professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University's Department of Applied Social Sciences. "Have you seen them speak out before the issues got any worse?"Hong Kong's powerful property lobby issued two statements over two weeks last month to condemn the escalating violence in the street protests, urging the city to return to peace and rule of law.They included the biggest local developers SHKP, CK Asset, Henderson Land, New World Development, Sino Land and Swire Properties. Notably absent from the list was Chinese Estate, controlled by fugitive tycoon Joseph Lau Luen-hung, who earlier sought a legal challenge against Hong Kong's extradition bill, but eventually dropped it.The statements were "cookie-cutter" messages, an example of the token gesture to "echo Beijing's directive and thinking" instead of "leading any reflection on the issues at stake for Hong Kong," Chung said.Still, 13 weeks of street protests cannot untangle the Gordian knot of entrenched business interest and politics built over decades, which led Hong Kong to where it is, analysts said."This is not going to fade away, and it will always be like that," said Joseph Tsang, chairman of JLL Hong Kong, adding that the phenomenon of greater wealth disparity triggering social unrest "will not improve in short term" as the big players have firmly controlled the city's businesses.Additional reporting by Sandy Li, Martin Choi and Enoch YiuOther articles in this series have analysed Hong Kong's emergency law, whether protests will ruin the city's role in the Greater Bay Area plan, Taiwan's high stakes in the protests, how leaders have spurned the chance to listen to public opinion, and how Beijing keeps getting Hong Kong wrongThis article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2019 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
(Bloomberg) -- Li Ka-shing, known as Superman by his admirers, is Hong Kong’s most famous billionaire. But there’s another, lower key, family that has much more riding on the city as it grapples with the worst political crisis in decades.The Kwoks, who built Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. into Hong Kong’s largest developer, control a $38 billion fortune that’s by far the city’s biggest, according to Bloomberg’s list of the richest families in Asia.Their empire is also among the most exposed to anti-government protests that threaten to upend Hong Kong’s status as a global business hub. While the historic demonstrations were triggered by a controversial extradition bill, many protesters have cited sky-high home prices, a widening wealth gap and the outsized political influence of property tycoons as reasons why they’ve taken to the streets for 12 straight weeks.“This is one part of the reason that people are so frustrated,” said Alice Poon, author of “Land and the Ruling Class in Hong Kong” and former personal assistant to Kwok Tak-seng, a late family patriarch. “They can’t do anything to influence government policies, especially land policies. That’s why young people can’t afford to buy their own homes. The anger has been smoldering.”Like many other rich clans in Hong Kong, the Kwoks will have to navigate the increasingly combustible environment while also wading through complex succession issues.That process has been made even more fraught by Walter Kwok’s sudden death by heart attack in October. He was the eldest of three sons who inherited the fortune of Kwok Tak-seng, a grocery wholesaler turned property tycoon from Guangdong province, and his wife Kwong Siu-hing. Walter’s sons, Geoffrey and Jonathan, who ultimately received his shares, became billionaires overnight.None of the family members agreed to interview requests made through Sun Hung Kai.Few companies have done more to shape Hong Kong, the world’s least affordable place to buy a home. Sun Hung Kai helped build the city’s two tallest skyscrapers, developed many of its biggest hotels and residential towers, and owns several of its most popular shopping malls — one of which became the scene of dramatic clashes between protesters and police in July. Among the family’s more eclectic projects is a Noah’s Ark theme park, complete with a full-scale mock-up of the boat described in the Bible.Read more: The world’s wealthiest family gets $4 million richer every hourLand policies inherited from the British — combined with a system of political elites defending the interests of the wealthy — have turned Hong Kong’s property tycoons into something akin to feudal lords, according to Poon, who spent about two decades in the local real estate industry.The city is in a vicious cycle in which developers with large land banks control supply, driving up prices and feeding government coffers through taxes on land premiums, Poon said in an interview from Vancouver, where she now lives. Many of those tax receipts go into a capital works reserve fund, which finances infrastructure projects that further drive up land prices, she said.A handful of property firms are sitting on at least 1,000 hectares of farmland in Hong Kong, an area about one-fifth the size of Manhattan, according to official estimates. Sun Hung Kai has one of the biggest land banks. The company says it has converted 9 million square feet of agricultural land for development in the past five years and about two-thirds of its agricultural land bank is at some stage of being converted for development. That process requires a lengthy consultation and various government approvals, which can take a decade or even two, Spencer Lu, a project director at Sun Hung Kai, said in an interview.While Lu said the company is one of Hong Kong’s most productive developers with about 3 million square feet of construction completed each year, its residential offerings tend to start at the equivalent of $1,275 per square foot. That amounts to about $890,000 for a 700 square-foot apartment, out of reach for many families in a city where the median monthly household income is $3,750.The protests, which have turned increasingly violent in recent weeks, present various challenges for Sun Hung Kai. Over the long run, the biggest threat is growing popular anger over the cost of real estate and the cozy relationship between tycoons and the government. But the company is also suffering near-term blows as the demonstrations dent demand for new apartments and hurt business in its malls and hotels — which include the Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton.In one striking scene last month, a woman in high heels toting a Saint Laurent shopping bag was photographed hopping over a pool of blood after protesters clashed with police at Sun Hung Kai’s New Town Plaza, a huge mall in the Sha Tin district with more than 400 stores and restaurants.Read more: Asia’s 20 richest families control $450 billion When some demonstrators blamed Sun Hung Kai for letting the police in, the company released a statement saying it didn’t call the authorities or ask them to enter the mall. Regardless, the firm has beefed up security ahead of marches, which tend to happen on weekends. Plans for an indoor lavender garden at one mall and pet-themed workshops at another had to be scrapped.Sun Hung Kai’s stock has dropped 11% since mid-June, twice as much as the benchmark Hang Seng Index, as retail sales and hotel-room prices plunged. While Hong Kong’s property market has so far proved resilient, Bank of America Corp. says prices could fall 10% because of the protests. The Kwoks have joined other real estate barons in calling for an end to the violence. Adam Kwok, an executive director of Sun Hung Kai who’s one of 10 children under Walter and his two brothers, appeared at a rally in support of the government earlier this month. The Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong, of which Adam is a committee member, days earlier urged everyone to “actively communicate in rational manner” and find a way out of the situation. Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest man, has taken out ads decrying violence in local newspapers.While Li has been diversifying his holdings outside of Hong Kong for years, the Kwoks still derive most of their fortune from the city. Hong Kong represents about 90% of Sun Hung Kai’s sales, though the younger generation has big ambitions to expand in mainland China. A commercial project planned for Shanghai will be the company’s largest to date in terms of square feet.The Kwok succession has created some of Asia’s richest heirs, and like many other scions, they’re handing down their billions free of estate taxes, which were abolished in Hong Kong in 2005.At the time of his death, Walter — who in the late 1990s was kidnapped by a Hong Kong gang leader nicknamed “Big Spender” — hadn’t been involved in the running of Sun Hung Kai since 2008. A public family squabble led to his extended leave and subsequent ouster as chairman that year.After that, Sun Hung Kai was overseen by his mother, Kwong Siu-hing, along with his two brothers Thomas and Raymond. When Thomas was sentenced to five years in jail for bribery in December 2014, his business activities, including many property operations in the city, were assumed by his wife, Ingrid, and son Adam. Raymond’s sons, Christopher and Edward, handle retail operations.Walter’s son Geoffrey sits atop a fortune worth $6.7 billion. A company filing from December lists his age as 33, making him the youngest Asian on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He joined Sun Hung Kai’s board in December after stints at Yale and an international investment bank. Younger brother Jonathan, who was educated at Cornell and who also inherited a stake in Sun Hung Kai, has a net worth of around $2.5 billion. Sister Lesley doesn’t appear in any Sun Hung Kai shareholder filings.All three are directors of Empire Group Holdings Ltd., the family office founded by their late father. Lesley handles stock and bond investments while Jonathan deals with real estate.In late May, the brother-and-sister duo made a rare public appearance at a signing ceremony to ink a redevelopment deal between Empire and InterContinental Hotels Group Plc. As Hong Kong’s summer of protest was slowly gaining momentum, the siblings raised champagne glasses and gave terse statements. It was the last time the Kwok siblings met with the press. \--With assistance from Venus Feng, Shawna Kwan, Pei Yi Mak and Adrian Leung.To contact the author of this story: Blake Schmidt in Hong Kong at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Pierre Paulden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Katrina NicholasMichael PattersonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Family wealth and a surge in entrepreneurs, especially those who founded technology startups, has led to a spate of younger billionaires globally. The youngest billionaire is only 21 years old, according to data compiled by Forbes.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- After 10 weeks of silence, Hong Kong’s business elite have started voicing opposition to the city’s increasingly violent protests. The cracking in the facade of neutrality comes amid mounting damage to the Hong Kong economy and pressure from Beijing for public displays of loyalty. Being forced to take sides is unlikely to end happily for them.On Monday, property billionaire Peter Woo called on protesters to quit and wrote that some people were aiming to “purposely stir up trouble.” A day later, Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd., the city’s biggest developer by market value, issued a statement condemning violent protests. Former Wheelock & Co. Chairman Woo, Sun Hung Kai Chairman Raymond Kwok and his brother Thomas Kwok are among Hong Kong’s 10 richest people, each worth more than $10 billion.The reticence of Hong Kong’s tycoons has been understandable. In normal circumstances, business can be expected to range on the side of the establishment and the forces of law and order. However, overwhelming public support for the protests triggered by a proposed extradition bill has forced them to consider the consequences of potentially alienating employees and customers in the city. Moreover, the business community itself expressed severe misgivings over a law that would have allowed people accused of a crime in China to be sent for trial in the mainland’s politically controlled legal system. Indeed, opposition from companies was an obvious factor in the government’s decision to suspend the bill, as we wrote in June.Threading that needle has now become close to impossible. As the weeks have stretched on and the protests have intensified, China’s central government has become increasingly alarmed. The State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office has staged three press conferences in the past month, having held none in the first 22 years after the former British colony returned to China.Beijing is now demanding order. On Aug. 7, the office called on Hong Kong’s elite to “have no fears and stand up” to protesters, urging them to safeguard the city’s stability and demonstrate “positive energy.” The following day, 17 real estate companies including Sun Hung Kai and Li Ka-shing’s CK Asset Holdings Ltd. released a statement saying Hong Kong had been suffering from “violence perpetrated by a small group of individuals” whose actions had “deviated from the original intent of the peaceful demonstrations and are bringing distress to the business community and the general public as a whole.” Woo is the most prominent businessman to have spoken out against the protests in his own name. With more than $7 billion of his wealth in Wheelock stock, he may be in a more precarious position than most. Subsidiary Wharf Real Estate Investment Co. put up signs at its Harbour City mall this month asking police not to enter unless a crime had been committed, after anti-government protesters threatened to disrupt business at the complex, the South China Morning Post reported. Harbour City and Wharf REIC’s Times Square between them account for 10% of Hong Kong’s retail sales, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Patrick Wong. The company put up the signs after clashes between police and demonstrators last month at a shopping center in the suburban town of Sha Tin that prompted criticism of owner Sun Hung Kai. In that case, the developer denied protesters’ allegations that it invited police to enter the mall.Placating protesters comes with the risk of enraging China, though. For evidence of the costs of being insufficiently supportive, look no further than Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. Last Friday, China’s civil aviation authority issued a warning to the airline for failing to take appropriate action against employees who took part in illegal protests and demanded a raft of changes, ordering the carrier to suspend all such staff from duty on flights to the mainland.That was just the start. At least two Chinese state-run companies told their employees not to fly on Cathay, and the investment-banking arm of the nation’s biggest lender cut the company’s stock to a “strong sell,” citing damage to its brand from the Hong Kong protests. Cathay shares fell to a 10-year low this week. On Tuesday, Cathay’s parent company Swire Pacific Ltd., said it “resolutely” supports the Hong Kong government and police in restoring law and order. The statement followed a visit by Chairman Merlin Swire to meet with China’s aviation regulators in Beijing on Monday.Expect more such declarations. Like Swire, which has bottling and property operations in China, Hong Kong’s real estate tycoons have major mainland businesses to protect. Wheelock, for example, gets about 38% of its revenue from the mainland.But beware the backlash at home. Hong Kong’s property billionaires hold huge sway over the economy, in a city where inequality has been exacerbated by the world’s least affordable home prices. If seen to be lining up behind forces that aim to perpetuate that system and reject all protesters’ demands – which include greater democracy – they may themselves become tempting targets for popular ire. It’s a no-win situation. To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Hong Kong’s ambitions to be an international data-center hub are a potential casualty of the city’s mass protests. Privacy breaches stemming from a summer of clashes between demonstrators and police threaten to erode confidence in the city as a base for foreign companies to set up storage facilities. To alleviate concerns, the government needs to improve security and regulation in the handling of sensitive data.Last month, dozens of protesters were arrested after being treated in the emergency ward of a public hospital following battles with riot police. The city’s Hospital Authority subsequently denied leaking patient data – despite the discovery of an internal document labeled “for police” that listed names of protesters seeking medical treatment, according to the South China Morning Post. At around the same time, the personal information of more than 800 police officers was hacked and released online.Data centers are a fast-growing market, valued at $31 billion globally in 2017 and forecast by Zion Market Research to grow 14% annually to reach $105 billion by 2026. In Hong Kong, total revenue for data centers is expected to reach $1 billion this year, with three firms sharing 55% of the market: Japan’s NTT Communications Corp.; Sunevision Holdings Ltd., a unit of local developer Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd.; and Silicon Valley-based Equinix Inc.The Hong Kong government has targeted the industry for growth, and the city has many advantages that make it an attractive location. The former British colony has a common-law legal system that’s recognized and trusted across the Western world, and its data-privacy laws are among the strictest in Asia. In addition, Hong Kong sits at the mouth of the Greater Bay Area, a grouping of 11 cities with a population of 69 million and annual GDP of $1.5 trillion that China plans to develop into an economic bloc. For multinationals, storing data in Hong Kong bypasses red tape and potential legal minefields in mainland China.Besides its legal system and geographic position, Hong Kong is well equipped with a highly reliable power supply – averaging only 1.5 minutes of unplanned power outages per year, according to one of the city’s two main electricity providers. This compares with 17 to 28 minutes in other major cities such as New York, Sydney and London. Consistent power enables strong broadband capacity and an established fiber-optic network. Another boast is Hong Kong’s low latency transfer in cloud computing – the speed at which information travels from place to place.The government has supported construction of data centers, by offering large financial incentives for companies to set up shop and specifying three locations to build such facilities. Unlike technology hubs such as Silicon Valley, these locations were intentionally set aside to accommodate the sector – no small feat, considering the diminishing supply of available land. Last year, Sunevision bought the last designated plot with a winning bid of $697 million – 45% higher than the estimate of Colliers International Group Inc., the South China Morning Post reported.The sale highlighted the perceived growth prospects for Hong Kong's data-center business. Companies such as Nvidia Corp. and Digital Realty Trust Inc. are also eyeing Hong Kong for expansion opportunities (though the city’s land shortages and red-hot property market may make that easier said than done).These advantages may count for little unless the government sustains confidence in the ability and willingness of authorities to protect data privacy. The leaking by hospitals of protesters’ identities – an apparently blatant privacy breach – caused widespread unease. In the case of the police hack, eight people were eventually charged with dishonest intent and criminal destruction. Still, the ease with which the intrusion took place shocked politicians and the public. Fears of further breaches could scare businesses away.Hong Kong needs to strengthen its data-security laws or risk international companies abandoning the city for more privacy-oriented locations, according to Padraig Walsh, a partner at legal firm Tanner De Witt who focuses on fintech and data privacy. Having been in the vanguard when it passed the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance in 1996, Hong Kong has been overtaken by jurisdictions such as the European Union, which adopted its General Data Protection Regulation in 2017, Walsh said.To remain competitive, the government should consider amending the Hong Kong ordinance to require data users to report breaches and to give the Privacy Commissioner stronger enforcement powers. Singapore will update its privacy laws next year, according to Walsh. If Hong Kong doesn’t adapt, companies will go elsewhere.(Ronald W. Chan and his firm, Chartwell Capital, do not hold positions in the companies he writes about for Bloomberg Opinion.)To contact the author of this story: Ronald W. Chan at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Ronald W. Chan is the founder and CIO of Chartwell Capital in Hong Kong. He is the author of “The Value Investors” and “Behind the Berkshire Hathaway Curtain.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Investing.com - Shares in Hong Kong-listed housing developers gained on Monday after the city’s leader decided to suspend a highly controversial extradition bill.
April 29 (Reuters) - Memories Group Ltd: * ENTERED INTO A SHARES PURCHASE AGREEMENT WITH OAKFAME INVESTMENT LTD AND ITS HOLDING COMPANY, SUN HUNG KAI & CO. * MEMORIES GROUP - CONSIDERATION PAYABLE BY CO ...
March 20 (Reuters) - Sun Hung Kai & Co Ltd: * FY PROFIT ATTRIBUTABLE HK$1,183.8 MILLION VERSUS HK$1,824.3 MILLION * DECLARED SECOND INTERIM DIVIDEND OF HK14 CENTS PER SHARE * FY TOTAL INCOME HK$4,584.6 ...
March 6 (Reuters) - Sun Hung Kai & Co Ltd: * EXPECTED THAT PROFIT ATTRIBUTABLE FOR YEAR WILL SHOW A DECREASE * ATTRIBUTABLE PROFIT FOR SECOND HALF OF 2018 WILL ALSO SHOW A DECREASE FROM FIRST HALF OF 2018 ...
Feb 27 (Reuters) - Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd: * DIRECTORS DECLARED INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT OF HK$1.25 PER SHARE * HY PROFIT ATTRIBUTABLE HK$20,469 MILLION VERSUS HK$33,031 MILLION * HY REVENUE HK$37,112 ...
Hong Kong's Sun Hung Kai Properties reported a 31 percent fall in half-year underlying profit, dragged down by a change in accounting standard, and said it expects the property market to be stable in 2019. It told an earnings conference on Wednesday an easing of tensions between Beijing and Washington, softening interest rates and favourable mortgage plans offered by banks would help to support the housing market. Company deputy managing director Victor Lui said many investors would turn to real estate rental yield amid volatility in other financial instruments, though he expected the overall transaction volume would drop this year.
HONG KONG, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's Sun Hung Kai Properties reported a 31 percent fall in half-year underlying profit on Wednesday, dragged down by a change in accounting standard which leads to ...
Jan 23 (Reuters) - Hong Kong Government * SAYS SUN HUNG KAI PROPERTIES LTD WINS HONG KONG SITE FOR HK$11.26 BILLION ($1.44 billion) Source text in English: https://bit.ly/2FSRC1P Further company coverage: ...
Hong Kong's government says it needs to build billions of dollars' worth of artificial islands to give the city's glittering skyline room to grow, but critics say developers are hoarding unused land that could solve the problem. Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, estimates the 1,111-square-kilometre city needs another 1,200 hectares, or about 12 square kilometres, and has proposed creating new land offshore. None of the three developers would clarify exactly how much rural land they hold, either directly or through shell companies.
Dec 20 (Reuters) - Transport International Holdings Ltd : * UNIT & TURBO RESULT ENGAGE CONTRACTOR TO CARRY OUT AND COMPLETE WORKS FOR A PROJECT AT CONTRACT SUM OF HK$4.44 BILLION Source text for Eikon: ...
Hong Kong sold a harbourfront residential plot for HK$8.33 billion ($1.06 billion) to a consortium led by major local developers, the Lands Department said on Wednesday, fetching less per square foot than a similar sale earlier this year. The per-square-foot price of the prime plot in Kai Tak, site of the city's former airport, was 18.4 percent lower than a record sale in the same area six months ago, in another sign of the city's sizzling property market starting to moderate. Last week, before the land sale, surveyors lowered their estimates by 5 to 10 percent from previously forecast, to value the site between HK$7.75 billion and HK$9.2 billion.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Tencent Holdings, AAC Technologies Holdings, Sunny Optical Technology Group, Xtep International Holdings and Sun Hung Kai Properties
Nov 1 (Reuters) - Transport International Holdings Ltd : * ENTERED INSURANCE ARRANGEMENTS FOR SUN HUNG KAI PROPERTIES INSURANCE TO PROVIDE INSURANCE COVERAGE, SERVICES TO CO Source text for Eikon: Further ...