Bloomberg News

AviChina Jumps Most in 2 Years as Li Ka-Shing Boosts Stake

November 16, 2011

(Updates with closing share price in second paragraph.)

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- AviChina Industry & Technology Co., the Chinese maker of helicopters and trainer jets, surged in Hong Kong trading today after billionaire Li Ka-shing bought HK$15.6 million ($2 million) of shares.

The company rose 11 percent, the biggest intraday gain in more than a month, to HK$3.87 at the 4 p.m. close of trading in Hong Kong. The shares earlier gained as much as 17 percent, the steepest climb since November 2009. The benchmark Hang Seng Index which fell 2 percent. Li, Hong Kong’s richest man, bought 4.6 million shares at an average price of HK$3.396 on Nov. 11, according to a filing.

“Li is like a magician,” said Vivien Chan, an analyst at Sinopac Securities Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong. “Any stock purchase by him helps push up share prices.”

AviChina has shed automaking assets and boosted its focus on aerospace as state-run parent Aviation Industry Corp. of China led a government push to develop a globally competitive aviation industry. The Hong Kong-based company also has ventures with planemakers Airbus SAS and Embraer SA, which have both opened plants in China to tap its growing aviation market.

Li, who controls Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. and Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd., increased his AviChina stake to 5.02 percent from 4.79 percent, according to the filing. Airbus’s parent European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. also owns a stake in AviChina.

In August, Li said China’s economy will avoid a hard landing even as global growth slows, and that his companies will be “active” in investments as they have cash. One of his companies this year purchased U.K.’s Northumbrian Water Group Plc for 2.4 billion pounds ($3.8 billion).

AviChina, which makes the H425 helicopter and L15 trainer aircraft, boosted first-half profit 24 percent to 214 million yuan ($34 million), excluding disposed of automaking businesses. Revenue surged 53 percent to 5.8 billion yuan.

Li made his fortune investing in Hong Kong real estate in 1967 after riots tied to China’s Cultural Revolution depressed prices.

--Billy Chan in Hong Kong and Tian Ying in Beijing. Editors: Tan Hwee Ann, Chua Kong Ho

To contact the Bloomberg News staff on this story: Billy Chan at bchan101@bloomberg.net; Tian Ying in Beijing at ytian@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at ndenslow@bloomberg.net


Steve Ballmer, Power Forward
LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus