HONG KONG -- Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels' new second-largest shareholder is not attempting a hostile takeover, he assured the operator of Peninsula Hotels in a letter whose existence was revealed Friday.
The missive came from Chua Hwa Por of Singapore, who raised his stake this year and now holds a roughly 12% interest.
Hong Kong news media have reported that a woman living with Chua in a luxury residence here has the same name as the daughter of Politburo member Li Zhanshu, a close aide to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Li heads the Communist Party's General Office, a post equivalent to Japan's chief cabinet secretary. He is broadly expected to get a promotion to the Politburo Standing Committee at the party congress this fall.
With the government strictly controlling overseas acquisitions by Chinese companies, the letter is seen as a way to dodge potential attacks on Li by his political enemies.
The Kadoorie family still owns more than 50% of Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, whose long-term investment horizon has not changed, CEO Clement King Man Kwok stressed in a news conference Friday.
The company also reported a January-June net profit of 519 million Hong Kong dollars ($66.3 million), up 160% on the year. With Beijing and Chicago hotel renovations completed, higher occupancy rates lifted earnings. Underlying profit -- calculated by subtracting the after-tax effects of property revaluation and other items -- rose 19% to HK$181 million.