Banks race to lend Hutchison Telephone

Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing doesn''t actually have to guarantee loans to guarantee them for companies connected with him.

Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing doesn't actually have to guarantee loans to guarantee them for any company connected with him.

A group of 32 banks from around the world have a signed an agreement to lend HK$4 billion to Hutchison Telephone Company, Hong Kong's leading mobile phone company, in which Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Whampoa ports-to-retail holding company owns a 74.9% stake.

Technically the loan carries no guarantees from the telephone company's shareholders, which include US-based electronics company Motorola, and NTT Mobile Communications Network, a Japanese wireless phone company. Motorola holds 25.1% and NTT holds 19%. In reality, analysts say, Li's presence, albeit shadowy, makes the chances of default...

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