Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing announced his retirement on Friday at age 89, officially passing the infrastructure and property empire he built in the past 70 years to his eldest son, Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, as of May 10.
Both CK Hutchison Holdings and CK Asset Holdings filed their statements with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Friday, saying that their chairman, Li Ka-shing, will retire from his position as chairman and executive director and member of the remuneration committee.
The boards of the two companies have requested that Li serve as senior adviser, and he will continue to contribute on significant matters.
"I have decided to step down as chairman of the group and retire from the position of executive director at the forthcoming annual general meeting," he said in the statement.
Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, deputy chairman of the companies, will become chairman and member of the remuneration committee while continuing as group co-managing director. Li, who has been accused of selling off mainland and Hong Kong assets, denied doing so, saying that he had not directed the proceeds of asset sales away from the mainland and Hong Kong. "We have sold some assets but we are also acquiring assets. For example, we are the biggest shareholder of Beijing Oriental Plaza, one of the capital"s largest and most iconic commercial complexes," he said.
In the past eight years, the Hong Kong tycoon sought to trim his mainland and Hong Kong assets, with over HK$300 billion ($38.3 billion) of commercial properties and land sold in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.
Investors who bought a share of Cheung Kong Holdings at HK$3 per share in 1972 have seen the price surge by more than 1,500 times.
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