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Li Ka-shing's selling 'not pull-out signal'

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-09-27 10:25

The economic slowdown, overcapacity and exposed financial risks like mounting government debt and runaway shadow banking prompted China bears to warn of a hard-landing and the popping of real estate bubbles.

But in the last two months, manufacturing and investment have recovered, reassuring the market that the country's official growth target of 7.5 percent will be achieved.

Mochtar Riady, a Chinese Indonesian financial magnate in Southeast Asia, said the Chinese economy is still moving upward and there are opportunities to invest. Riady said Li's selling was not a signal for others to pull out money.

Riady's Lippo Group has developed real estate projects across China, including a plaza towering on the core section of Huaihai Road, Shanghai's Fifth Avenue. Lippo owns and operates hotels, office buildings and shopping malls in cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Haikou.

"I am fully confident in China's economic growth," Riady added, saying the country's real estate prices will continue rising. The 84-year-old billionaire said the net worth of Xu Rongmao, a real-estate tycoon developing high-end properties in the mainland, would grow 10 times in 10 years.

Thomas Chua Kee Seng, president of Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, does not regard Li's selling a signal that Asia's richest man has lost confidence in the region or an industry.

"With his powerful capital, Li can do things that others can't. Many things are cheap in Europe. Why can't he transfer some money to Europe and later invest the money he earns in China?" Chua said.

"Our confidence of investing in China has never dwindled," Chua added. "Certainly, every enterprise needs to consider the risks they can take." Li, chairman of Cheung Kong and Hutchison Whampoa, told Hong Kong press last week that his flagship companies would not pull their assets out. "After many years Cheung Kong and Hutchison will still be here," South China Morning Post quoted Li as saying.


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