By Li Hongmei
Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing announced Dec 31 that he is selling the International Financial Center, his only property in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing.
Li prompted speculation last year on whether he was cashing out of Hong Kong and the mainland after he sold more than 12 billion yuan (US$2 billion) worth of properties in the mainland, reports the Guangdong-based Yangcheng Evening News.
ARA Asset Management Limited, a subsidiary of Li's Cheung Kong Holdings in Singapore, is selling the property that is located in Nanjing's central business district Xinjiekou. The center, which has been valued at 3 billion yuan (US$495 million), has an area of 109,000 square meters and is the tallest building in the area at 220 m since it was completed in May 2009.
Li pledged that his business empire would never leave Hong Kong during a recent interview. The businessman said he will not sell his businesses' 3.8 million sq m of commercial properties in Hong Kong, such as the Cheung Kong Center, the Aon China Building, Hutchison House and the Center and another five million sq m of properties in Beijing and Shanghai. The properties are worth a total of at least HK$170 billion (US$21.9 billion) but they only amount to 0.5% of Li's commercial properties abroad.