Billionaire keeps his US$128m promise
The billionaire chairman of Hong Kong developer Henderson Land said he will donate HK$1 billion (US$128 million) to charity after the city’s benchmark index surpassed the 30,000-point level, keeping a pledge he made seven years ago.
Lee Shau-kee, who is known as “Hong Kong’s Warren Buffett,” promised in his autobiography in 2010 that he would donate HK$1 billion when the Hang Seng Index surpassed 30,000 points — a level last scaled in November 2007 — and would continue to donate that sum each year the index stayed above that level.
“He will donate HK$2 billion a year if the index goes above 40,000 points as part of his aspiration of helping millions of people,” said Henderson Land spokeswoman Bonnie Ngan.
“We have checked with our boss and Mr Lee says he will keep his promise and will donate HK$1 billion.”
Hong Kong’s benchmark index ended above 30,000 points for the first time in 10 years on Wednesday, closing at 30,003.49, amid signs investors from China’s mainland were stepping up buying of Hong Kong stocks.
The blue-chip index extended gains yesterday, rising 0.1 percent to 30,024 by lunchtime. The index has risen 36.5 percent so far this year, and is up 6.3 percent this month.
Lee is looking at 10 projects related to education and helping to alleviate poverty, Ngan said, adding that details would be announced once finalized.
One in five people in Hong Kong, or 1.35 million, fall beneath the poverty line, a record high, according to the government’s Poverty Situation Report released last Friday.
With a net worth of US$28.7 billion, Lee is Hong Kong’s second-richest person after tycoon Li Ka-shing. Forbes listed him No. 32 on its rich list of billionaires globally.
Shares of Henderson Land, which has a market value of HK$207 billion, were up 0.4 percent yesterday. They have risen nearly 40 percent so far this year.