UPDATE 1-Hutchison H1 profit beats forecasts on solid overseas performance

Thu Aug 1, 2013 5:22am EDT
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* H1 underlying profit $1.6 billion

* Company says uncertainty to remain in H2

* Sees signs of stabilisation in major economies

* Raises interim dividend to HK$0.60, first hike since 2011

By Yimou Lee

HONG KONG, August 1 (Reuters) - Ports-to-telecoms conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, owned by Asia's richest man Li Ka-shing, reported on Thursday better-than-expected first-half profits, buoyed by a solid performance in European infrastructure and telecoms investments.

Li, nicknamed "Superman" by local media for his deal-making savvy, plans to exit the mature Hong Kong supermarket business to focus on investing in European infrastructure and telecom assets as global economic woes drive down prices, analysts said.

"Whilst uncertainty will remain a challenge for the second half of 2013, major economies are showing signs of stabilisation and gradual recovery," Li said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.   Continued...