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Li Ka-Shing's electricity IPO raises $3.1b

Family business patriarch Li Ka-shing, who is also Asia's richest man, has raised $3.1 billion (€2.3 billion) dollars through an IPO of a division of his electric company.
Li Ka-shing with his son Victor
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©Press Association

Family business patriarch Li Ka-shing, who is also Asia's richest man, has raised $3.1 billion (€2.3 billion) dollars through an IPO of a division of his electric company.

HK Electric Investments – a subsidiary of Power Assets, which is indirectly controlled by Li's flagship company, Hutchison Whampoa – listed 4.43 billion units at HK$5.45 (€0.51) each.

A collection of cornerstone investors – including state-owned State Grid Corp of China, and an Omani sovereign wealth fund – bought 38% of the firm's offering.

Cornerstone investors are often a feature of Asian IPOs – usually sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors who are offered the option to buy large amounts of stock provided they hold on to it for an agreed amount of time.

Power Assets owns one of Hong Kong's two main electricity suppliers, the Hong Kong Electric Company, but profit growth has been curbed in recent years by government policy.

The Hong Kong government limited the rate of return on electricity firm at 9.99% five years ago, down from 15% in order to reduce customers' fuel tariffs and to increase investment in infrastructure. 

Canning Fok, chairman of HK Electric Investments, said in a statement: "Following the listing, we will, as always, remain committed to supporting Hong Kong's long-term economic development."

He added the company would continue to invest in all of its business areas.    

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