Hong Kong developer CK Asset sells Chengdu development project for $1 bln

HONG KONG, July 24 (Reuters) - CK Asset, founded by tycoon Li Ka-shing, said it had sold a residential and commercial development project in the Southwest Chinese city of Chengdu for around $1 billion.

The company expected an unaudited gain of HK$3.8 billion ($490.22 million) from the disposal to a company jointly owned by Chinese property developers Yuzhou Group and Chengdu Ruizhuo Real Estate Co, it said in a filing on Thursday night.

CK Asset’s shares gained as much as 1.6% in early trading on Friday, outperforming the broader market, before retreating 0.2% at midday. Yuzhou Group fell 1.5% while Hang Seng Index eased 1.8%

In a separate statement, the Hong Kong developer said Li Ka-shing and company chairman Victor Li remain confident in the mainland China and Hong Kong markets, and it is the largest Hong Kong business in mainland China covering various industries.

It added the gains from the Chengdu disposal is on par with the HK$28 billion average annual income it made from property sales in the mainland in the past decade.

Li Ka-shing has been criticized by some mainland media in the past for “exiting China” after pocketing lucrative profits. ($1 = 7.7517 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Rashmi Aich)