Qatar buys $1.2 billion HK Electric stake from Li Ka-shing's firms

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Qatar Investment Authority has bought an aggregate stake of 19.9 percent in HK Electric Investments Ltd 2638.HK from billionaire Li Ka-shing's firms for HK$9.25 billion ($1.19 billion), as the global investor seeks investment opportunities in Asia.

Power Assets Holdings Ltd 0006.HK said it sold a stake worth HK$7.68 billion ($990.79 million) in HK Electric to Qatar Investment Authority, as the Hong Kong power utility eyes new acquisitions in the global energy industry.

Power Assets said its holding in HK Electric fell to 33.37 percent after it sold a 16.53 percent stake, remaining as the controlling shareholder of the power supplier.

Together with a stake of 3.37 percent bought from Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd 1038.HK, Qatar's sovereign wealth fund holds a stake of 19.9 percent in HK Electric, Power Assets said in a separate statement.

Power Assets said the latest sale was consistent with its intent of maintaining its stake in HK Electric at between 30 percent and 49.9 percent.

“We expect this new partnership to be of potential significant benefit to our group,” said chairman Canning Fok, adding the net proceeds from the deal would further strengthen Power Assets’ liquidity position.

A HK$455 million loss will be recorded as a result of the deal, led by the difference between the net proceeds and the carrying value of the stake, the company said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

It said the carrying value included the post-listing profit upon the listing of HK Electric in January 2014.

Qatar has sought opportunities in Hong Kong, with investments in department store operator Lifestyle International 1212.HK and commercial bank Agricultural Bank of China 1288.HK.

Shares of Power Assets fell 4.1 percent to an 8-month low of HK$68.2. The stock ended down 2.2 percent at HK$69.55, deeper than a fall of 1.2 percent in the benchmark Hang Seng Index .HSI.

Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Stephen Coates and Clarence Fernandez