(Corrects headline and second bullet point to Cheung Kong)
* Li's companies have raised about $9 bln this year
* Cheung Kong says no binding bid has been reached
HONG KONG, Aug 4 Billionaire Li Ka-shing's
Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd is considering a bid for
aircraft being sold by private equity firm Terra Firma-owned
lessor AWAS Aviation Capital Ltd, a deal which sources said
could be worth about $5 billion.
A successful bid by Li would mark the entry of Asia's
richest man into a sector that is attracting long-term global
investors such as insurers and pension funds hungry for better
returns while interest rates remain low.
AWAS,, the aircraft leasing company owned by the
British private equity firm, is in talks with potential bidders
to sell a portfolio of about 100 newer aircraft, Reuters
reported last week.
Li's companies are seeking stable investments in
well-regulated markets outside Hong Kong, where expansion
opportunities are becoming limited. Just this year, the tycoon's
companies have raised about $9 billion by selling stakes in Hong
Kong firms and analysts expect a part of the proceeds to be used
for buying overseas businesses.
Cheung Kong said on Monday it was at a very preliminary
stage in considering the proposed acquisition and no binding
agreement had been reached. Cheung Kong shares were down 0.4
percent at HK$143, while the benchmark Hang Seng Index
was up 0.4 percent.
"The company has been exploring new investment opportunities
to generate additional stable revenue streams to drive forward
its growth momentum. The proposed acquisition is one of the many
opportunities that have been presented to the company," the
property group said in a filing to the Hong Kong bourse.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of
China, China Development Bank and
Japanese-owned SMBC Aviation Capital are fast expanding in the
aviation leasing sector and have emerged as leading global
(Reporting by Donny Kwok and Anshuman Daga; Editing by Denny
Thomas and Stephen Coates)