Swire Pacific: Hong Out to Dry

Pick five of the worst affected businesses by the pandemic, then put them in a portfolio. That neatly sums up the storied Hong Kong conglomerate Swire Pacific. The businesses of the two-century-old British-controlled hong, including airlines, commercial real estate, hotels and marine services, have suffered, the Financial Times reported in a commentary. Once one of the largest constituents in the Hang Seng index, today it is the smallest. Swire — Taikoo in Cantonese — reported a net loss of HK$7.7bn ($1bn), its first half-yearly loss in more than a decade. The hong has been badly hit by the pandemic and worsening Hong Kong-China relations. A HK$9.9bn net loss from Cathay Pacific, which Swire controls through a 45 per cent stake, was one of the biggest contributors to the result. The flagship Hong Kong airline accounted for about a tenth of group profit last year. Things are not improving. Read more