The economic cycle determines the fate of individuals and companies, and investors must be more aware of the cyclical pattern. For companies, only when they have followed the precise economic cycle by joining the game when the market flourishes and retreating when it peaks can they maximize profit. A cursory glance at the real estate in 1998, the Internet in 2000, the mobile Internet in 2010, and the new energy sector that is currently booming, proves this to be true.
Renowned billionaires who are well-versed in the economic cycle include Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates. They have consistently been able to navigate through volatility and seize emerging investment opportunities.
On May 31, NaaS (NASDAQ: NAAS) , a new energy service provider, announced the completion of its Secondary Public Offering of 3.5 million American Depository Shares (ADS). Adrian Cheng, the oldest grandson of Cheng Yu-Tung and Executive President of New World Development Company Limited, has made strategic investment in NaaS, together with other investors including CST Group (00985. HK).
In fact, Adrian Cheng has already made multiple investments in the new energy industry when it was in its nascency. During that period, his investing decisions were met by both approval and controversy. In November 2017, he prevailed over all dissenting views and insisted on engaging in series D financing for NIO; in August 2018，he took part in XPENG’s series B financing. Adrian Cheng had previously kept a low profile when investing any business, yet for the investment in NaaS, he changed completely, signifying that investing in new energy industry has become a promising opportunity among the wealthy consortia.
But who is behind the CST Group? The tycoon behind the curtain is Mr. Chiu Tao. Although being the actual controller of CST Group, he has been scarcely reported. He has established Yiwu Shiying Import & Export Co., Limited, co-founded Smart King with FF and fully owned "FF USA" and "FF Hong Kong" businesses. For that investment，he paid $800 million to FF. Cheung Chung-kiu, another key shareholder of CST Group, is also an intimate friend of Li Ka-shing, Cheng Yu-Tung and Joseph Lau Luen-hung.
Referring to the net worth enlisted in the Forbes 2023 World's Billionaires list, the Adrian Cheng Family’s total asset is worth $28.9 billion USD. As for Chiu Tao and Cheung Chung-kiu, both of them have assets around the world. The accumulative wealth of the three Hong Kong bigwigs engaged in the NaaS founding may be worth up to $100 billion USD.
The rich always have the sharpest business senses, and they clearly understand that only by getting on board the fast train of rapidly developing new energy market, can they not fall behind in the era of change. A successful investor is definitely an experienced master of economic cycle. Driven by the goal of reaching carbon neutrality, almost every market segment, including PV, energy storage, NEV, hydrogen energy, comprehensive energy services and energy digitalization, is expected to reach a market value of $10 trillion USD, and they each has the potential to bring about giants with market capitalization in the trillions. Rising stars such as Contemporary Amperex Technology (a global leader in lithium-ion battery development and manufacturing), BYD (the world's largest electric vehicle maker), and Longi (a world leader in PV solution) all have such potential.
The new energy market is so transformational that it has attracted staggering investments not only from four of Hong Kong’s financially influential families, but also other strong investors from markets that are in the middle of their transition, including the United States, Middle East, and Europe. Not to be left behind, Southeast Asia is also quickly launching its energy transition. More and more ambitious capitalists are itching to make a foray into this promising market and locating potential investment targets.
Moreover, the upswing of this cycle might last for 20 years. The core engine is the China market where profitability should be the most prominent. Spearheaded by Adrian Cheng, the wealthy Hong Kong clans’ investment was just the beginning.