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Abdoolally Ebrahim & Company (HK) Limited

Abdoolally Ebrahim & Co (HK) Ltd was established in Hong Kong in 1842, and is one of the oldest trading houses in the territory. The company has survived the wars and numerous disturbances that have rocked Hong Kong, not to mention recessions and external trade embargoes, and gone from strength to strength.

The company's history begins a few months after the establishment of the colony and ever since its progress has been closely associated with the growth of what Lord Palmerston described as "a barren island with hardly a house upon it" to the third largest commercial centre of the world.

The earliest record of the company dates back to 1839 when, trading from Bombay, it was forced to surrender a cargo to Viceroy Lin of Canton. Since it had been shipped at the behest of the British Government, compensation was finally paid and notificatoin made in the Hong Kong Government Gazette in 1864 ?25 years later.

The company was founded by Seth Ebrahim Noordin (right), and at that time was known in Bombay as Ebrahim Noordin & Company. In 1842, Mr Noordin sent his brother-in-law Abdoolally Rajabally to set up offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, under the name Abdoolally, Ebrahim & Company. In that same year the company introduced the first cross-harbour ferry service between Tsimshatsui and Central. When, in 1951, the company was registered with limited liability the comma was dropped and it became Abdoolally Ebrahim & Company (HK) Ltd.

In the mid-19th century, the family business was mainly a trading house dealing in sugar, green beans, raw silk, cotton, yarn, textiles and a variety of other commodities.

The company has also shared the colony's fortunes and has grown from a pioneer family export-import house into a prosperous international organisation with subsidiaries dealing in varied activities, ranging from trading to shipping, but which is still owned and managed by the same family.

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