Prof. Joseph Fan told South China Morning Post in an interview that “[Li Ka-shing]’s retirement is an important watershed. It symbolises the end of the first generation of the tycoon era which set up business after the second world war. “
The retirement of Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, from the helm of the two companies he built up into a global empire, marks the end of the era of the city’s post-war tycoons.
Li, who turns 90 in July 2018, will hand over the chairmanships of CK Hutchison Holdings and CK Asset Holdings to his elder son, Victor Li Tzar-kuoi. The two firms have telecoms, container ports and real estate interests and a combined market capitalisation of HK$641 billion.
In Hong Kong however Li has been held up as a symbol of the entrepreneurial spirit of the city, earning the nickname “Superman” for his deal-making acumen. With an estimated net worth of US$36 billion, he is Hong Kong’s richest man according to Forbes magazine, and the world’s 23rd richest.
“His retirement is an important watershed. It symbolises the end of the first generation of the tycoon era which set up business after the second world war. They have still been doing business on the old model,” Joseph Fan, Professor of School of Accountancy and Department of Finance and Co-director of Centre for Economics and Finance at The Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School said in an interview with South China Morning Post.
Courted by China’s leaders in the years before and after the return of Hong Kong, Li had run into criticism in Beijing of late after a series of sales of his companies’ assets in mainland China as part of a restructuring of the businesses. This led to speculation that his star had been fading in China’s leadership circles… Read More (PDF)
This article also appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition. Please click the image below for further reading.
Photo: SCMP Pictures