Thursday, September 21

Li Ka-shing’s Empire Faces Fresh Risks to Nascent Recovery

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(Bloomberg) — CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. profit rose 15% last year as key retail and port operations bounced back from Covid-induced slowdowns, though recent virus flareups in China and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may present risks to a continued rebound.

The conglomerate, a flagship company of billionaire Li Ka-shing’s CK Group, reported net income of HK$33.5 billion ($4.3 billion) last year, according to a statement Thursday. While up from a year earlier, it’s still down 16% from the pre -pandemic levels of 2019.

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The firm raised its full-year dividend to HK$2.66 a share, compared with HK$2.31 per share a year before.

Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison spans ports to retail and telecommunications and operates in major markets including mainland China, the UK, Australia and Canada. While the widely-distributed portfolio has helped the group hedge against regional risks, it leaves it particularly exposed to global black swan events, like war in Ukraine, and currency fluctuations.

“The outlook for the global economy is still uncertain,” the company said. “The emergence of new COVID-19 variants, elevated inflation concerns and expected tightening of monetary policies have increased the difficulty in predicting both the global growth trajectory and the growth trajectories for the world’s major economies for 2022.”

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