Ka-Shing in Aussie tax fight
SYDNEY: The Australian Tax Office is pursuing unpaid taxes from companies controlled by Asia's richest man, Li Ka-shing, that relate to profit made in the country's power, gas and water industries.
The Federal Court recently ruled against two companies related to Li's Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd, ordering they pay A$776 million (RM2.33 billion) in unpaid tax and penalties.
The two companies, Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings, the largest listed infrastructure company in Hong Kong, and energy subsidiary Power Asset Holdings Ltd, have made hundreds of millions of dollars from their Australian investments.
Wendy Tong Barnes, chief corporate affairs officer at Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings, said yesterday the company intends to "vigorously challenge" the ruling.
Many of the group's Australian investments were privatised state government utilities, including a 50 per cent stake in South Australia Power Networks. Other investments include a 19 per cent holding in Envestra Ltd, Australia's biggest distributor of natural gas.
Judge Michelle Gordon on August 30 that Cheung Kong Infrastructure pay A$380 million and Power Asset pay A$396 million for unpaid income tax from 2000 to 2009, as well as penalties for failing to lodge documents with the tax office. Reuters