The 4 October delisting of Jardine International Motor Holdings marks the Jardines Group's final withdrawal from Hong Kong; the place upon which much of the group's success was founded. In recent years, Hong Kong has been bad luck for the Jardines Group and its importance within the British colony turned Chinese Special Administrative Region has diminished massively.

Jardine Matheson, which was founded in China in 1832, grew to become the dominant force in Hong Kong during the 1960s and 1970s, with interests spanning property, hotels, shipping, supermarkets, investment banking, insurance, construction and vehicle distribution.

Today, Jardines still has greater exposure to Hong Kong than anywhere else, though most of the group's listed entities moved their primary listings to London from Hong Kong and their Asian listings went to Singapore. "The decision to move the main Asian share trading from Hong Kong to Singapore was designed to retain a consistent corporate governance system. It was not a business repositioning," says the company.

 

In the mid-1990's Jardines and most of the listed group companies had their primary share listings on the London Stock Exchange. The decision to move the main Asian share trading from Hong Kong to Singapore was designed to retain a consistent corporate governance system. It was not a business repositioning

 

 It upset the Chinese government in the run-up to Hong Kong's reversion to mainland China rule and for some time has been at odds with its minority shareholders, which have enjoyed pathetic returns and been thwarted in their attempts to oust management, which is firmly controlled by the Keswick family.

Although the Keswicks control only minority stakes in the group, a cross-shareholding structure involving the twin pillars of the group, Jardine Matheson and Jardine Strategic, ensures the incumbent management cannot be toppled. This arrangement was strengthened in the wake of