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Li Ka Shing's firms slump as falling pound hurts profit outlook

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A hung parliament in the UK is translating into losses for one of Asia's richest men.

[HONG KONG] A hung parliament in the UK is translating into losses for one of Asia's richest men.

Li Ka Shing's CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd and Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd were among the biggest losers in Hong Kong trading, as the slumping pound cut the value of the companies' UK earnings.

Sterling slid two per cent after Britain's ruling party lost its majority in a snap election.

Mr Li has much riding on Britain as the country is the biggest profit generator at the billionaire's business empire. He operates Superdrug and Savers stores, ports, the Three phone service, as well as gas and electricity distribution. His Hong Kong-based flagship CK Hutchison generated 36 per cent of its total earnings before interest and taxes from the country last year.

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Mr Li's companies are falling "because of the currency issue - there would be a direct impact on their assets and earnings when translated into Hong Kong dollars", said Daniel So, a strategist at CMB International Securities Ltd in Hong Kong.

The billionaire last year warned that the fallout from the nation's decision to leave the European Union would last for years.

CK Hutchison dropped as much as 2.3 per cent before closing 1.3 per cent lower in Hong Kong. Cheung Kong Infrastructure slid 2.1 per cent. The city's benchmark stock index slipped 0.1 per cent.

BLOOMBERG

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