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Nikkei Markets

Billionaire Lee Shau Kee weighs stepping down as chairman of Henderson Land

Lee Shau Kee (front), among the world's richest billionaires with a net worth of $30.6 billion, according to Forbes, was born and raised in Guangdong province in southern China before he founded Henderson Land in 1976.    © Reuters

HONG KONG (NikkeiMarkets) -- Henderson Land Development said on Wednesday its billionaire Chairman and Managing Director Lee Shau Kee, aged 90, is considering stepping down from his current positions after the Hong Kong property major's next annual general meeting in May.

Lee, "being advanced in age," is considering stepping down and will be succeeded by sons Lee Ka Kit and Lee Ka Shing -- both executive directors on the company's board -- as Joint Chairmen and Managing Directors. Lee Shau Kee will stay on as a director of the company, Henderson Land said in a filing to the stock exchange.

Lee, among the world's richest billionaires with a net worth of $30.6 billion, according to Forbes, was born and raised in Guangdong province in southern China before he founded Henderson Land in 1976. Henderson Land also holds strategic investments in Hong Kong-listed department-store operator Henderson Investment, and three other listed associates -- The Hong Kong & China Gas Co., Hong Kong Ferry (Holdings), and Miramar Hotel & Investment.

Henderson Land's announcement on Wednesday follows the decision by Li Ka-shing, Lee's peer on the list of Hong Kong's ultra-rich business moguls, to step down last year as chairman of diversified conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings and property major CK Asset Holdings.

Lee is also known as one of the founders of the forerunner of Sun Hung Kai Properties group, which has evolved to become Hong Kong's most valuable developer. Lee, who has been a non-executive director at SHK Properties since its inception, remains that company's vice chairman to this day. Recognized as an astute investor and his keen sense of the stock market, Lee is often sought by local media in Hong Kong for his views on the market.

Henderson Land said details of the decision and future arrangement will be announced on the date of the annual shareholder meeting, which is set for May 28.

Henderson Land's shares rose 1.1% to HK$46.10 on Wednesday before the announcement, giving the company a market value of HK$202.9 billion. The Hang Seng Index fell 0.5%.

-- By Benny Kung

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