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Swire Pacific Limited (SWRAY)

Other OTC - Other OTC Delayed Price. Currency in USD
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7.17-0.19 (-2.58%)
At close: 3:55PM EDT
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Neutralpattern detected
Previous Close7.36
Bid0.00 x 0
Ask0.00 x 0
Day's Range7.17 - 7.33
52 Week Range4.47 - 8.26
Avg. Volume18,530
Market Cap10.023B
Beta (5Y Monthly)1.03
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-0.94
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & Yield0.22 (2.75%)
Ex-Dividend DateApr 06, 2021
1y Target Est8.59
  • Financial Times

    Swire’s ‘next chapter’ ends as scion leaves Hong Kong

    Merlin Swire’s appointment as chair of the storied Hong Kong trading house in 2018, which bears his family’s name, was billed as the beginning of the group’s “next chapter”. The 47-year-old was the first member of the family since the 1860s to hold the role of “taipan”, the traditional name for the head of a British-owned, colonial-era Hong Kong trading house. It announced last month that he would be returning to London to run the Swire holding company, leaving the airline-to-property group, whose flagship is Cathay Pacific Airways, facing some of the biggest challenges in its history.

  • Old-School Tycoons of Hong Kong Are Losing to China’s Moguls

    Old-School Tycoons of Hong Kong Are Losing to China’s Moguls

    (Bloomberg) -- The prediction was vintage Jack Ma, as provocative as it was prescient.“This is the era of the internet,” the Chinese billionaire proclaimed in October 2013, just weeks after his plan to take Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. public in Hong Kong had been scuttled by regulators. “It no longer belongs to Li Ka-shing.”Ma’s dig at the famed Hong Kong tycoon raised plenty of eyebrows at the time, but few would disagree with him now. The past few years have seen a remarkable shift in fortunes between China’s tech-savvy moguls and their old-school Hong Kong counterparts -- a trend that shows few signs of fading any time soon.Even as Xi Jinping’s government moves to curb the clout of Ma and some of his peers, the combined wealth of China’s 10 richest people has surged threefold since 2016 to $425 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. For Hong Kong, it doubled to $218 billion during the same period. Li, once Asia’s richest person, is now ranked No. 13, several spots below Ma, who eventually listed Alibaba in New York in 2014.The changes underscore the fading relevance of Hong Kong businessmen who built their empires on real estate, ports, infrastructure, telecommunications, aviation and retail.At their peak, when the former British colony was the indispensable gateway to a rapidly developing mainland China, Li and his peers were courted by Beijing for their business acumen and access to overseas capital. These days their political clout is waning and their businesses are increasingly viewed by investors as stale.What’s more, Hong Kong’s future as a financial hub is facing an existential threat as China’s Communist Party chips away at the “one country, two systems” framework that has underpinned the city’s success for decades.One consequence has been a dramatic slide in the stock-market valuations for Hong Kong’s biggest conglomerates. Over the past five years, five of the city’s top groups -- CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd., New World Development Co., Henderson Land Development Co., Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. and Wharf Holdings Ltd. -- have consistently traded at deep discounts to their net assets.Their shares now fetch just 0.5 times book value on average, versus 10 for the five companies controlled by some of China’s richest tycoons, data compiled by Bloomberg show.“The main businesses of the large Hong Kong companies don’t have much growth,” said Andy Wong, founding partner at LW Asset Management in the city. “Investors prefer to focus on growth more than on a company’s value,” he said, adding technology-driven sectors are attractive, especially after the pandemic.While private family offices of some of the city’s tycoons have pivoted to high-growth investments, their listed businesses have been slow to catch up. On the other hand, their counterparts across the border have leveraged technology to provide a range of consumer services and create wealth. Chinese tycoons have also benefited from the $14.3 trillion economy’s quick recovery from Covid. China was the only major economy to expand last year, while Hong Kong saw back-to-back contractions in 2019 and 2020.Most of China’s richest billionaires come from the tech industry, including Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s Pony Ma, Bytedance Ltd. founder Zhang Yiming and NetEase Inc.’s William Ding. The wealth of Zhong Shanshan, China’s current richest person and founder of bottled water giant Nongfu Spring Co. is almost $69 billion, more than double that of Li’s.Many of Hong Kong’s business empires owe their success to government policies that encouraged only a small group of deep-pocketed developers to bid at auctions of land parcels, a system that turned Hong Kong into the world’s most expensive property market. The windfall from rising prices allowed the tycoons to diversify into utilities, retail, ports and infrastructure.But that formula has been difficult to replicate in larger markets like mainland China due to high capital requirements, local competition and regulatory barriers, said Richard Harris, founder of Hong Kong-based Port Shelter Investment Management.For instance, Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd.’ land bank in mainland China is just about 2.3% of that held by Country Garden Holdings Co. owns, a Guangdong-based developer controlled by billionaire Yang Huiyan.The result is that many of the city’s tycoons have focused on defending their current turf rather than expanding into new businesses, Harris said. “Many of them are quite happy making sure they don’t lose” what they have, he said.Yet even that has proven difficult in recent years as Hong Kong’s economy was battered by anti-government protests and the pandemic.Sun Hung Kai Properties, the developer led by billionaire brothers Raymond and Thomas Kwok, reported the biggest decline in underlying profit since 2013 for the year ended June. Swire Pacific Ltd., one of city’s two centuries-old British trading firms, recorded an underlying loss last year, the first since listing in 1959. Its flagship Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. is struggling despite a government-led rescue.CK Hutchison, the flagship of the diversified empire Li built after his family fled to Hong Kong from the mainland as refugees in 1940, saw its first profit drop since a revamp of the conglomerate in 2015. As tensions rise between China and the West, the CK group is facing headwinds overseas. Australia blocked it from acquiring a local gas pipeline operator over national security concerns in 2018.Some of Hong Kong’s conglomerates have started looking further afield for growth opportunities. New World Development Co., which is into infrastructure building, hotels and shopping malls, is accelerating its expansion into insurance, health care and education in mainland China. Chief Executive Officer Adrian Cheng has said he wants to grow the non-property service businesses. Much of the effort “revolves around non-traditional businesses,” a spokeswoman said.Swire Pacific is investing in health-care groups in mainland China. Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd., the owner of luxury hotel group Mandarin Oriental International Ltd., is partnering with private equity firm Hillhouse Capital Management Ltd. to look for investment opportunities in Greater China and Southeast Asia.Representatives for Sun Hung Kai declined to comment, while CK group and Wharf didn’t respond to requests for comment. Swire said the group’s financial strength and ability to invest remain strong, and is looking at new sectors. Henderson Land said it’s been diversifying from property, with a strong presence in Hong Kong and China, and has been incorporating sustainable technologies.Li’s personal investment vehicle, Horizons Ventures, has been investing in plant-based food, renewable energy and digital services. The firm’s early bet in Zoom Video Communications Inc. surged to $11 billion last year during the pandemic, or one-third of Li’s wealth. He was also an early backer of Facebook Inc., Spotify Technology SA and Siri.The post-pandemic recovery will be crucial for Hong Kong’s tycoons to consider similar bets on emerging industries, according to Falcon Chan, a partner at Deloitte China.“It’s critical to think about what’s the next big bet,” Chan said. “What some of these big guys do in the next one or two years will have a tremendous impact if they want to pivot.”More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

  • South China Morning Post

    Swire Pacific, parent company of struggling Cathay Pacific, reports first ever annual loss and expects a tough 2021

    Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. "It is a bit dangerous to predict whether we have recovered from the worst, but we are very encouraged by the pace of the vaccines being approved. By the middle of the year, we think there will be very good take-up of the vaccination in Hong Kong and life will be much easier." The chairman, a member of the sixth generation of a family that traces its roots in mainland China back more than 150 years, was speaking during the company's annual results briefing on Thursday. Excluding changes in the value of investment properties, the group recorded an underlying loss in 2020 of HK$3.97 billion, compared with an underlying profit of HK$17.8 billion in 2019. The conglomerate said it has never seen an underlying loss since its listing in 1959. "This has been a year of historical challenges for us, and the progress of many of our businesses was sharply arrested by Covid-19. Cathay Pacific was particularly hard hit," said Swire. Swire's Chinese name is Taikoo, which loosely translates as "great and ancient". The name was selected by Thomas Taylor Meadows, the British consul in Shanghai at the time when the group founded by John Swire set up its business in the city in 1866 under the name of Butterfield & Swire. To gain a foothold in China's lucrative aviation market, Swire Pacific and its partners in Cathay Pacific Airways had to reorganise the carrier's top management amid the social unrest in Hong Kong last year. That led to the departure of chief executive Rupert Hogg and chairman John Slosar. On Wednesday the carrier reported record losses of HK$21.6 billion in 2020, a year blighted by the Covid-19 pandemic - the worst crisis in commercial aviation history. It has received a HK$39 billion bailout from the Hong Kong government to ride out the pandemic. "Cathay currently has a strong liquidity position after the recapitalisation and is in a great position to navigate its way through the crisis from here until recovery. There is absolutely no sign that further capital will be required from shareholders. We have a lot of confidence in Cathay's future," said Swire. The group's 82 per cent-owned Swire Properties, the unit that manages Pacific Place in Admiralty and six retail-hotel complexes in mainland China, reported a 47 per cent drop in core profit to HK$12.68 billion in 2020, it said in a separate filing. In stark contrast to Hong Kong's moribund retail sector, retail sales in mainland soared 29 per cent in the second half of last year as the country bounced back from Covid-19. "Historically our balance was towards our home base here in Hong Kong but that has been gradually changing as we take up more opportunities in the mainland," said Guy Bradley, chief executive of Swire Properties. The CEO said that its high-end shopping centre, Taikoo Li Qiantan in Shanghai, is expected to open gradually from April and is currently 70 per cent leased. 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 © 2021 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2021. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.