Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka Shing said to retire by 2018: WSJ reports

Billionaire Li Ka Shing speaks during a news conference in Hong Kong.
Billionaire Li Ka Shing speaks during a news conference in Hong Kong. PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - Billionaire Li Ka Shing has told associates that he plans to retire by next year as chairman of his flagship CK Hutchison Holdings, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Mr Li has not specified a date but is likely to step down by his 90th birthday in July next year, the newspaper reported. The tycoon plans to remain as senior adviser and keep his office atop CK Hutchison's headquarters building in downtown Hong Kong, according to the report.

Mr Li is in "very good health and will make his official announcement when he decides to retire", CK Hutchison said in an email to Bloomberg. Mr Li has discussed retirement periodically and continues to be confident in his son Victor to take over, it said.

Though the 88-year-old tycoon has flagged he would pass on control of his group to his elder son, the retirement of Hong Kong's richest man would mark the end of an era. Mr Li's US$32.6 billion (S$45.1 billion) fortune ranks second in Asia after that of Alibaba Group Holding's Jack Ma, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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Shares of CK Hutchison were up 0.4 per cent to HK$99.10 (S$17.50) at the midday trading break in Hong Kong.