Li Ka-shing's HK Electric investments in $3bn IPO

January 22, 2014 - 11:31:04 am

HONG KONG: Li Ka-shing, Asia's richest man, raised more than $3 billion for the Hong Kong listing of his electricity assets on Wednesday in the city's biggest IPO of the year so far.

HK Electric Investments carved out from Li's Hong Kong-listed utilities firm Power Assets,  raised $3.11 billion, selling 4.43 billion units at the low end of its HK$5.45 to HK$6.30 ($0.70-$0.81) indicative price range.

Li's utility assets have endured weak profit growth after the Hong Kong government five years ago capped the rate of return on electricity firms at 9.99 percent, down from 15 percent.

The rate of return pegs the maximum profit the city's electricity companies can make to the value of their fixed assets.

Cornerstone investors, which include China state-owned electric utility State Grid Corp of China and sovereign wealth fund Oman Investment Fund, bought 38 percent of the firm's offering, with shares valued at $1.17 billion. 

Cornerstone investors are given the option to buy vast portions of stock in an IPO if they agree to hold the shares for a certain period.

The listing is the city's biggest since China Everbright raised $3.2 billion for its December IPO last year.

Li remained Asia's richest man as of January 2014 with an estimated net worth of $32 billion, according to the Forbes rich list.

Shares of Li's Power Assets rose 0.25 percent to HK$60.8 in afternoon trade on the Hong Kong stock exchange on Wednesday, while the benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 0.25 percent. (AFP)