Cathay Pacific owner Swire faces exit from Hang Seng
ONE of Hong Kong’s most famous trading houses is facing relegation from the Hang Seng index after half a century as Chinese tech firms muscle in.
Swire Pacific’s share price has fallen 42pc this year and it issued a profit warning in June after being battered by the pandemic.
The firm – which has a range of retail and real estate investments and is the biggest shareholder in airline Cathay Pacific – was a founding member of the blue-chip Hang Seng, but is likely to be ejected during a reshuffle after today’s close. The firm is the quoted arm of the family-owned Swire conglomerate, which has its origins in a Liverpoolbased import-export company founded by John Swire in 1816.
Merlin Swire – the company’s chairman and great-great-great grandson of John – remained resolute despite unveiling a HK$7.7bn (£750m) first-half net loss prompted by Cathay Pacific’s struggles and a slew of impairment charges as it slashed the value of assets.
“Whether we’re in the index or not, we’re in Hong Kong. We’re not going anywhere,” he said. Only HSBC has performed worse on the index this year. But the lender remains among the largest Hang Seng members.
Swire has a range of real estate investments and is the top shareholder in Cathay Pacific