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12 Dec

New World Independent Shareholders Approve Group Reorganisation

New World Group today announced that the independent shareholders of New World Development Company Limited ("NWD") (17.HK), New World Infrastructure Limited ("NWI") (301.HK) and Pacific Ports Company Limited ("PPC") (659.HK) have formally approved plans for the Group's reorganization. The announcement follows the SGMs held today by NWD, NWI and PPC. The reorganization, details of which were first announced on 21 October 2002, is aimed at streamlining the Group's organisation structure, increasing transparency, and unlocking shareholder value.

With formal approval for the reorganization now received from independent shareholders, PPC will proceed to complete the acquisition of traditional infrastructure assets from NWI and the share capital of New World Services Limited. NWI, which is expected to benefit from significantly reduced gearing, will then distribute all of its PPC shares to its shareholders. PPC, which has now received independent shareholder approval to be renamed NWS Holdings Limited ("NWS Holdings") (659.HK), has already received HK$7 billion in committed bank financing as well as an investment grade rating from Standard & Poor's. In comparison with PPC, NWS Holdings will have a greater ability to capture growth opportunities in Greater China, as well as substantially increased recurring cash flows, cash earnings and earnings per share, and increased scale.

Commenting on the reorganization, Dr. Henry Cheng Kar-Shun, Managing Director of NWD, said, "We are delighted with the outcome of today's meetings and the support of our independent shareholders. We are as a Group committed to improving our corporate governance policy, increasing transparency and enhancing value for all shareholders. This reorganization will position the Group with a more transparent and efficient corporate platform, while achieving its goals of debt reduction, group rationalisation and development of future growth prospects."

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About New World Development Company New World Development Company Limited (17.HK), established in Hong Kong in 1970 as a property development company, has gradually developed into one of Hong Kong's leading diversified conglomerates. The Company, listed in Hong Kong in 1972, is one of the constituent stocks of the Hang Seng Index with total assets exceeding HK$130 billion. Through acquisitions and start-ups, the Group has expanded its core businesses to include property, infrastructure, services and telecommunications. New World Infrastructure, Pacific Ports, New World Services and New World China Land Limited are principal subsidiaries of the Company. As at the date of this press release, the Company has an effective interest of approximately 54.4% in New World Infrastructure (which, in turn, has an interest of 75% in Pacific Ports) and an interest of approximately 52.4% in New World Services.

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About New World Infrastructure
In October 1995, New World Infrastructure (301.HK) became the first infrastructure company to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. With basic infrastructure and TMT investments exceeding US$2 billion, the company is among the largest investors in China, Hong Kong and Macau. The company is present in 14 PRC provinces, 2 municipalities and 2 Special Administrative Regions. The basic infrastructure portfolio includes cargo handling, toll roads, bridges, energy and water treatment. The company has stakes in over 70 projects, encompassing 1,146 km of highways, six bridges, power generation of 1,924 MW, cargo handling capacity of 5.2 million TEUs per year and water treatment capacity of 2.8 million cubic meters per day. In addition, New World Infrastructure invests in the TMT segment in telecommunications, media and technology companies and services.
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About Pacific Ports
Listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1997, Pacific Ports (659.HK) is principally engaged in the development of port and cargo-handling businesses in Mainland China and Hong Kong. In addition, Pacific Ports invests in and manages trucking and warehouse facilities to provide a logistic delivery network. The two main shareholders are New World Infrastructure Ltd. and the Asian Infrastructure Fund (AIF). New World Infrastructure, which holds a 75% stake, is a leading investor in the China, Hong Kong and Macau infrastructure and TMT segments. AIF, which holds a 8.74% stake, is a US$780 million equity fund that invests in high growth public utility companies throughout Asia.
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