Li Ka-shing at an investors' conference in Hong Kong, Feb. 28. (Photo/Xinhua)
Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Whampoa Limited, an investment holding company based in Hong Kong, has reportedly spent HK$12.9 billion (US$2.1 billion) on a real estate project in London, according to the Hong Kong Daily News.
The project, which has London mayor Boris Johnson acting as a go-between, will cover 16.7 hectares of land 3.2 kilometers east of Canary Wharf. The complex to be constructed at the site will include 3,500 units of residential housing, as well as office buildings, stores, restaurants and hotels.
Housing prices in London have been rising, with property prices posting a monthly increase of 13.8% to £414,000 (US$690,000) in February.
Over recent years, Li's companies have made significant investments in the United Kingdom.
The Cheung Kong Group, chaired by Li, has invested a total of HK$372 billion (US$48 billion) in the United Kingdom over recent years, making it the largest foreign investor in the European country.
Cheung Kong's EDF Energy controls 30% of the power supply for the entire United Kingdom and its Northumbrian Water subsidiary provides 7% of the water supply to the country's residents, making the Hong Kong-based company highly influential in terms of the United Kingdom's livelihood and economy.
Li has stressed many times that he likes doing business in countries that have established a comprehensive legal system and has praised the legal systems of Europe.
Li Ka-shing 李嘉誠