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Measuring Li Ka-shing’s Hong Kong conglomerate

Lex is a premium daily commentary service from the Financial Times. It helps readers make better investment decisions by highlighting key emerging risks and opportunities.

Hutchison who? That will not be entirely fair: the Hong Kong conglomerate’s investors know roughly what they own. But they do not seem to care much about what it does. This week Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. spent $1.1-billion (U.S.) buying Telefónica’s Irish unit yet its shares mostly tracked the wider market. Hutchison has agreed or closed five deals worth more than $4-billion this year, equivalent to a fifth of its free float. Yet reaction has been minimal. Why?