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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mogul Says No to Gambling

SINGAPORE -- Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing will sell his stake in a Singapore downtown convention center if its venture with Harrah's Entertainment wins a license to run a casino in the city-state, said Justin Chiu, Li's executive.

Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Center last month teamed up with Harrah's, the world's biggest gaming operator by sales, to bid for a Singapore casino license. Suntec Singapore will work with Harrah's on the convention business, though it will not take an equity stake.

The tie-up goes against the principles of Li, who had distanced his company from operations in markets such as Macau, the former Portuguese colony where gaming companies such as Las Vegas Sands are pouring more than $12 billion into new casinos. Li, 77, whose wealth is valued at $13 billion by Forbes, is the second-richest man in Asia.

"The chairman's philosophy is he and his group will not get near to the gambling business," Chiu, who is executive director of Cheung Kong Holdings, Li's flagship property company in Hong Kong, said in an interview last week.

Li holds a one-sixth stake in Suntec City Development, which in turn owns the convention center.