Orient Overseas, owned by the family of former Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, has sold its ownership at the Long Beach Container Terminal in California. File Photo by Michael Nelson/EPA
May 1 (UPI) -- A Hong Kong-based company has sold its interest in the Long Beach Container Terminal in California, following U.S. government concerns of China-related national security, according to a newspaper in Hong Kong.
The South China Morning Post reported Orient Overseas, owned by the family of former Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, has sold its ownership at the container port to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, an unlisted U.S. fund.
The fund is managed by Australian financial giant Macquarie Group. The $1.78 billion sale is expected to net Orient Overseas a profit of $1.29 billion, according to a stock exchange filing obtained by the Post.
Orient Overseas began operations in 1969, when Hong Kong was a British colony. Twenty years after the handover, it was sold to Cosco, a Chinese state-owned shipping firm, in July 2017.
Cosco owns 75 percent of Orient Overseas. U.S. security agencies were concerned Cosco's indirect ownership of the Hong Kong firm could have an impact on the Long Beach port, the second-largest port by volume.
The port sale comes at a time when Washington and Beijing continue to negotiate an ongoing trade dispute.
A U.S. delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin traveled to Beijing and made progress on difficult issues, including key market access and rolling back on punitive tariffs, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
Mnuchin said on Twitter the talks will continue in Washington next week.
Trump has said a trade deal with China should be reached in the next two weeks, and that he is willing to walk away, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.