(Yicai Global) Sept. 11 -- Lee Shau-kee, Hong Kong’s wealthiest individual, plans to retire from Sun Hung Kai Properties, the city’s biggest developer by market value.
Lee will step down in November as the real estate developer’s non-executive director and vice chairman, positions the 92-year-old co-founder has held since 1972, the company said in a statement yesterday.
Born in 1928, Lee began to ply the real estate business when he was 30, setting up Eternal Enterprise with other investors. By pioneering sales based on floor area and allowing buyers to pay by installments over 10 years, the firm upended the convention of selling entire buildings. All the projects it developed sold out.
Lee formed Henderson Land Development in 1976, taking it public in 1981. He has been a fixture among Hong Kong's top 10 richest ever since. With a net worth of USD30.4 billion, Lee edged out Li Ka-shing to top Forbes Hong Kong's Richest People List this year.
He stepped down as Henderson Land's chairman and general manager last year, consigning the firm into the care of his two sons.
Net profit at Sun Hung Kai slumped almost 48 percent in the last fiscal year to HKD23.5 billion (USD3 billion), according to the firm’s annual earnings report published yesterday. Revenue fell 3.1 percent to HKD82.7 billion the year to June 30.
The company had sales of HKD33.6 billion in Hong Kong and CNY9.5 billion (USD1.4 billion) in the Chinese mainland. The market was affected by social distancing measures, the report said.
Shares of Sun Hung Kai [HKG: 0016] gained 0.3 percent today to close at HKD100.20 (USD12.93), bringing the decline to 16 percent since the start of this year. Henderson Land [HKG: 0012] also edged up 0.3 percent to HKD29.15. It has lost 24 percent this year.
Editor: Ben Armour