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Brexit would be 'detrimental to the UK', warns billionaire Li Ka-shing

Published 21/06/2016

Li Ka-shing's portfolio of UK investments includes mobile operator Three, Superdrug and Northumbrian Water
Li Ka-shing's portfolio of UK investments includes mobile operator Three, Superdrug and Northumbrian Water

One of Asia's richest men, Li Ka-shing, has come out in favour of Britain remaining in the European Union, warning that a vote to leave would be "detrimental to the UK".

Mr Li, who has significant business interests in Britain, told Bloomberg TV: "Of course, I hope that the UK doesn't leave the EU.

"If Brexit happens, it will be detrimental to the UK and it will have a negative impact to the whole of Europe."

The 87-year-old billionaire's portfolio of UK investments includes mobile operator Three, Superdrug and Northumbrian Water.

Mr Li has previously said that he would be forced to scale back investment in Britain if the country were to vote to leave the EU on Thursday.

Hong Kong-based Mr Li adds his voice to a plethora of heavyweights from the world of business backing Britain to remain.

Sir Richard Branson, Sir Martin Sorrell and top bosses at Toyota and General Electric have all warned on the ramifications of Brexit.

Earlier on Tuesday, billionaire currency trader George Soros warned a vote to leave the EU would trigger a plunge in the pound greater than Black Wednesday - but without the benefits seen after the crisis that made him a fortune.

The veteran financier said he was certain sterling would fall steeply and quickly should voters back Brexit, leading to a "Black Friday" scenario more immediate and dramatic than when Britain crashed out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) in the 1990s.

However, unlike the departure then, there would be none of the benefits to the economy seen by a devalued pound and most voters would be left "considerably poorer", he predicted.

Recent polls have indicated a swing towards Remain, although experts still believe the result is too close to call.

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