Hutchison to float ports business in Singapore

The Hong Kong conglomerate has flagged an intention to spin off its container ports assets in Hong Kong and Guangdong for a separate listing that market sources estimate could raise as much as $5 billion to $7 billion.

Hutchison Whampoa announced yesterday that is planning to spin off its port assets in Hong Kong, Macau and China’s southern Guangdong province for a separate listing in Singapore. The choice of Singapore instead of Hong Kong was said to be motivated by the possibility to list the assets as a business trust there, while Hong Kong doesn’t have the regulations in place for such vehicles. A business trust will allow the company to distribute essentially all of its free cash flow as dividends, giving unitholders direct access to the stable revenues generated by this business.

Hutchison Whampoa, which is controlled by Hong Kong’s richest tycoon Li Ka-shing, intends to keep about 25% of the business...

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