Global economy is in low growth; The difficulties have not been seen for many years.
Hong Kong Wen Wei Po (By Liang Yueqin)
The world economy is so complicated this year, and the difficulties this year have not been seen in the past, but almost every country has to face the situation of low economic growth, so everyone must be careful, the Senior Consultant of CHEUNG WO, Li Ka-shing warned when met with the media before attending the annual dinner of the Cheung Kong last night after half a year of his retirement. He also reminded that the economy will be poor and the property market will fluctuate wildly. He reiterated that "Buying house according to one's capability. It will be no problem for self-occupation if the installment is affordable, but don’t make speculation.” He said post-retirement life is very happy, and his personal New Year's wish is " Hong Kong will be stable and prosperous, with less trouble and more happiness."
CHEUNG WO held an annual dinner at the Convention and Exhibition Center last night. Li Ka-shing was present as a senior consultant for the first time since he announced his retirement as chairman of the group in March last year. He arrived at about 6:20 in the evening and waved to the waiting reporters as soon as he arrived, and stopped to answer questions.
The economic environment is complicated and it is not suitable for speculation.
Li Ka-shing responded: "If you buy for self-occupation without installment payment problems, you should buy it; but it is not suitable for speculation.” when was asked if current Hong Kong property market adjustment period is a good time to into the market. He frankly described the world economic situation this year is complicated and the difficulties have not been seen in the past for many years, while almost every country is facing low economic growth, so he reminded "the worse of the economy the more sharply fluctuation of the property market.” .
We have been gone through this for so many years since came to Hong Kong in 1940, Li Ka-shing said, when was asked if he worry about the economic situation in Hong Kong this year. He pointed he regards Hong Kong as his hometown and Hong Kong has its strengths, however, there is not possible to develop oil and energy business in Hong Kong, so they have to do such business in Canada, the South China Sea and Indonesia.
He expressed CHEUNG WO has business in 52 countries, and investments in some countries are so many that they cannot answer them instantly. Taking CHEUNG WO’s Watsons as an example, there are more than 15,000 stores worldwide, while there are only 700 in Hong Kong, however, it is impossible to add 700 more, which is impossible. We have to go to a place suitable for these businesses to gain profit for the shareholder.
Strategy of increasing fixed income to resist property market downward works.
Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, the eldest son of Li Ka-shing, also attended the group's annual dinner for the first time as Chairman of CHEUNG WO (0001) and Cheung Kong (1113) yesterday. Although he did not answer questions from reporters before the banquet, but he also talked about the global political and economic changes and the group's response during the dinner speech. He pointed global economic and political turmoil appeared last year, and there are various issues such as the rise of protectionism, the persistence of trade wars, the existence of variables in the Brexit, the election of many countries and the resumption of the interest rate cycle impact the world situation and the Group's business.
Facing various challenges, in particularly Hong Kong property market has shown a downward trend recently, the Group's strategy of increasing fixed income made many years ago has played a significant role, leading the Group has strong cash flow, Victor Li Tzar-kuoi expressed. As mentioned in the interim results in August last year, it was expected that Cheung Kong’s fixed profit income 2018 will increase by more than 50% from the level in 2016.
It is expected the national economy will grow steadily and continue to develop healthily, as the mainland continues to optimize its economic structure and focus on high-quality direction, he continued pointed. Looking forward to the new year, he believed the achievements of large-scale economic construction such as the “One Belt One Road” and the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao will become increasingly apparent, bringing more new opportunities to the country.
New Year’s wish is “ Less trouble, more joy!”
On the other hand, he is working for the Li Ka-shing Foundation every day, and very happy after he retired, and he do his best to help when the group has a lot of businesses to seeks for advice from him, also he still returning to the group office of the Cheung Kong every day, Li Ka-shing expressed, when the reporter asked him about his retirement in the past six months. When talking about the New Year's wishes, Li Ka-shing said: "Like everyone, I hope that Hong Kong will be stable and prosperous, with less trouble and more happiness."
On August 23 last year, Li Ka-shing transferred approximately 66 million shares of CHEUNG WO (0001) shares and approximately 131 million shares of Cheung Kong (1113) to the family trust from his personal name held by some companies through transferring company. The family trust currently holds 30.07% of the shares of CHEUNG WO and 31.37% of the shares of Cheung Kong. The controlling shares and decisions of CHEUNG WO and Cheung Kong are held by family trusts, Li Ka-shing pointed. The principle of shareholdings of CHEUNG WO and Cheung Kong for many years has been buying while selling less, and they continue to increase in recent, also they paid a lot to buy last year.
For Cheung Kin (1038) recently selling 2% of shareholdings of Power Assets (0006) to personal people suddenly, "It need to ask Victor Li Tzar-kuoi.” Li Ka-shing said.