Zoom Video Communications Inc. once comprised the biggest portion of Li Ka-shing’s fortune. Those days are gone.
The Hong Kong legend known as “Superman” for his business acumen has trimmed his Zoom stake as the video-conferencing app’s stock has fallen to pre-Covid levels. He offloaded 2.9 million shares between March and December, a regulatory filing showed this week — a holding worth about US$275 million ($367.1 million), based on the average price for the period.
Now Li’s ownership in the businesses he founded — property developer CK Asset Holdings Ltd. and conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. — represent more than half of his US$29.5 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He still owns a 6.9% stake in Zoom, but its value has tumbled to US$1.6 billion from as much as US$11 billion at the stock’s peak in October 2020, when it represented one-third of Li’s net worth.
Zoom is one of the biggest boom-and-busts that Covid produced, with its shares surging to the stratosphere during the lockdowns before coming back to Earth as people returned to their pre-pandemic lives. The company is cutting 15% of its workforce, and Chief Executive Officer Eric Yuan lowered his salary and forwent his bonus.
Like Li, many investors who piled into tech stocks have since trimmed their holdings. George Soros’s investment firm, Soros Fund Management, exited all of its Zoom position in the fourth quarter, a filing showed this week.
Li, 94, started making Zoom bets in 2013, and his stake was worth about US$850 million when the company listed in the US in 2019. In February 2021, he transferred part of his holding to his son Richard in a US$2 billion revamp.
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The billionaire, who back in 2015 was worth as much as US$38 billion, also owns a US$4.3 billion position in Canadian oil producer Cenovus Energy Inc. through a family trust.
His venture arm Horizons Ventures was an early backer of Facebook Inc. and Spotify Technology SA. Among other holdings, it owns positions in US beverage maker Celsius Holdings Inc. and bioscience business ChromaDex.
A representative for Li said his asset-management team operates independently and has been trading in recent years.