Bourse rejects PCCW spinoff plan; Singapore exchange an alternative?

27 Apr 2011

The Hong Kong stock exchange has rejected a plan by PCCW’s chairman Richard Li to spin off the firm’s telecoms business and list it as the territory’s first business trust, a decision that the communications and property group plans to appeal. The news also led to speculation that PCCW will consider a business trust listing in Singapore, where regulations already allow such structures, reports Reuters. PCCW had announced last month it was in discussions with Hong Kong’s Securities & Futures Commission over the proposals for a business trust, a scheme which allows companies to pay dividends to ‘unit holder’ investors – rather than shareholders – from underlying cash flow rather than profits, and is a method of raising cash without relinquishing control of the business. 75% of unit holders must be in agreement to remove the trustee manager, typically an affiliate of the founding company. Richard Li’s father, Li Ka-Shing, listed the ports business of Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa as a business trust in Singapore last month.

Hong Kong, HKT (incl. CSL), PCCW Group