* Li's firms say he has full confidence in Postal Savings
* Sees PSBC as long-term investment
* Li Ka Shing Foundation backs healthcare and education
(Adds background on China media's criticism of Li)
HONG KONG, Sept 29 Hong Kong's Li Ka Shing
Foundation has disclosed a 2.8 percent interest in Postal
Savings Bank of China Co Ltd, a state-backed lender
that raised $7.4 billion through an initial public offering in
Hong Kong this month.
The ownership arises from performance-linked notes issued by
a financial institution, the foundation said in a statement,
without elaborating. The indirect stake is worth HK$10.78
billion ($1.39 billion), according to a Reuters calculation
based on Thursday's closing price of the bank's stock.
The foundation of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing has
rarely disclosed the details of its investment portfolio in the
past. Li's interest in Postal Savings Bank comes at a time when
he has come under fire from Chinese state media for divesting
billions of dollars of investments from mainland China.
In one of several critical articles, the People's Daily, the
Chinese Communist Party's official mouthpiece, published an
editorial late last year on its social media account calling
Li's actions "immoral" and "unpatriotic".
Commentators and political observers said the article
suggested the politically connected Li, who had enjoyed close
ties with the likes of former president Jiang Zemin, had lost
some political support from Beijing. Li himself has since said
that he resolutely supports China and its president Xi Jinping.
Hong Kong tycoon Li has "absolute" confidence in the bank
and treats the ownership as a long-term investment, his group
companies CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd and Cheung Kong
Property Holdings Ltd said separately in a joint
The Li Ka Shing Foundation was established in 1980 and
mostly supports healthcare and education projects across 27
countries and regions, according to its website. It has deployed
over HK$20 billion so far to support these initiatives, 87
percent of which benefit projects in the greater China region,
Postal Savings Bank shares made a flat debut on Wednesday
and were little changed on Thursday. The lender is among the
last of major Chinese state-owned banks to go public.
($1 = 7.7540 Hong Kong dollars)
(Reporting by Denny Thomas and Donny Kwok; Additional reporting
by James Pomfret; Editing by Chris Cushing and Muralikumar