=MARKET BUZZ: CK Group Shares Mixed; APA Deal Seen Expanding Global Footprint
HONG KONG (Jun 13) -- Power Assets Holdings up 0.6% and CK Infrastructure Holdings 0.2% higher while CK Hutchison Holdings falls 1.4% after consortium, which also includes property major CK Asset Holdings, offers to buy Australia's APA Group for about $9.9 billion, or A$11 per share. Deal signals CK group's strategy for coming 20 years is "to expand global footprint, since Hong Kong is a small market and investments into China could be subject to many limits," says Felix Man, executive director at Future Land Resources Capital Group; adds, "M&A deals by the group are widely expected in the market, since Power Assets Holdings has abundant cash on its balance sheet, yet it is very reluctant to give out more dividends." While deal is first big transaction after Victor Li replaced father Li Ka-shing as chairman at CK Hutchison and CK Asset, Man thinks transaction was probably initiated before senior Li retired. "This deal does not mean Victor Li is getting more aggressive after he took control," he says; considers Australia to be "a good place" to invest in clean assets, given group previously acquired energy assets there, and "could achieve a market leader position." Note, group controls gas distributor Australian Gas Networks down under. CK Asset shares off 0.5%. APA shares up 21.2% to A$10.02 in Sydney.
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