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Thursday, Oct 01, 2020

Hong Kong’s 15 richest people ranked – Li Ka-shing, Lee Shau-kee, Michael Kadoorie and more billionaires’ true wealth revealed

Hong Kong’s 15 richest people ranked – Li Ka-shing, Lee Shau-kee, Michael Kadoorie and more billionaires’ true wealth revealed

Thomas Kwok, Henry Cheng, Raymond Kowk and Peter Woo all rank high on Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index – some are self-made and built their fortunes through real estate and investments while others inherited wealth from their families – but how much do they really have?

The 15 richest people from Hong Kong are collectively worth more than US$200 billion.

Some of the billionaires occupying the top ranks of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and Forbes’ Billionaires List are self-made property tycoons – like Li Ka-shing, who founded CK Hutchison Holdings. Others inherited wealth from their families, like Lee Man-tat, whose grandfather is credited with having invented oyster sauce.

All net worths below are sourced from Bloomberg unless otherwise noted.

15. Geoffrey Kwok

Net worth: US$6.45 billion

Age: 35

Territory: Hong Kong

Industry: Real estate

Source of wealth: Inherited

Net worth year-over-year change: Down US$987 million in the last year

Kwok Tak-seng (right), chairman of Sun Hung Kai Properties, presents a cheque to Governor Sir Murray MacLehose, patron of the Hong Kong Heart Foundation, at Government House in 1978. Photo: SCMP
Kwok Tak-seng (right), chairman of Sun Hung Kai Properties, presents a cheque to Governor Sir Murray MacLehose, patron of the Hong Kong Heart Foundation, at Government House in 1978.

Geoffrey Kwok’s grandfather, Kwok Tak-seng, founded Sun Hung Kai Properties, the largest property developer in Hong Kong. Kwok’s father, Walter, served as chairman of the company until 2008 when his brothers Thomas and Raymond took over. Walter then started his own property developer, Empire Group Holdings. Walter died in 2018, after which Kwok and his brother, Jonathan, took over the company.

Kwok also joined the Sun Hung Kai Properties board in 2018.

14. Ronald McAulay

Ronald McAulay was on the CLP Holdings board until 2016. Photo: SCMP
Ronald McAulay was on the CLP Holdings board until 2016.

Net worth: US$6.7 billion

Age: 84

Territory: Hong Kong

Industry: Energy

Source of wealth: Inherited

Net worth year-over-year change: Down US$192 million in the last year

Ronald McAulay owns several shares of CLP Holdings, the largest energy supplier in Hong Kong, alongside his brother-in-law, Michael Kadoorie.

McAulay was on the CLP Holdings board until 2016. McAulay also owns shares in The Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels, a tourism and holding company focusing on hotels and commercial and investment projects. McAulay was on the company’s board until 2017.

13. Joseph Lau Luen-hung

Joseph Lau Luen-hung attends real estate tycoon Walter Kwok Ping-sheung’s funeral service held at St John’s Cathedral in Central in November 2018. Photo: SCMP
Joseph Lau Luen-hung attends real estate tycoon Walter Kwok Ping-sheung’s funeral service held at St John’s Cathedral in Central in November 2018.

Net worth: US$8.15 billion per Bloomberg; US$16.7 billion per Forbes

Age: 69

Territory: Hong Kong

Industry: Real estate

Source of wealth: Self-made

Net worth year-over-year change: Up US$315 million in the last year

Joseph Lau used to serve as chairman of Chinese Estates, a property developer. But according to Forbes, most of his money today comes from his holdings in Hong Kong real estate. Lau spends his fortune collecting art. He transferred much of his savings to his family in 2017 over health concerns.

12. Michael Kadoorie

Sir Michael Kadoorie, chairman of CLP Holdings Limited, chairman of The Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels. Photo: SCMP
Sir Michael Kadoorie, chairman of CLP Holdings Limited, chairman of The Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels.

Age: 79

Territory: Hong Kong

Industry: Energy

Source of wealth: Inherited

Net worth year-over-year change: Down US$499 million in the last year

Michael Kadoorie serves as the chairman of CLP Holdings and The Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels. His family’s CLP Holdings provides electricity for 80 per cent of Hong Kong.

11. Thomas Kwok

Former Sun Hung Kai Properties co-chairman Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong. Photo: SCMP
Former Sun Hung Kai Properties co-chairman Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong.

Net worth: US$10.4 billion

Age: 68

Territory: Hong Kong

Industry: Real estate

Source of wealth: Inherited

Net worth year-over-year change: Down US$1.36 billion in the last year

Thomas Kwok served as chairman of Hong Kong's largest real estate developer, Sun Hung Kai Properties, until 2014. The company was founded by his father, Kwok Tak-seng, who died in 1990. Kwok and his two brothers inherited the company. Kwok owns about 18 per cent of Sun Hung Kai, which made US$10.9 billion in the first half of 2019.

Kwok and his brother, Raymond, were arrested in 2012 for suspected bribery. While Raymond was cleared of the charges in 2014, Kwok was sentenced to five years in jail but was released after serving about three, Forbes reported in 2019.

10. Raymond Kwok

Chairman and managing director of Sun Hung Kai Properties, Raymond Kwok Ping-luen. Photo: SCMP
Chairman and managing director of Sun Hung Kai Properties, Raymond Kwok Ping-luen.

Net worth: US$10.8 billion

Age: 67

Territory: Hong Kong

Industry: Real estate

Source of wealth: Inherited

Net worth year-over-year change: Down US$1.42 billion in the last year

Raymond Kwok serves as chairman of Sun Hung Kai Properties. Kwok and his two older brothers inherited the company after their father, who started the company, died in 1990. Kwok owns about 18 per cent of Sun Hung Kai, which made US$10.9 billion in the first half of 2019.

9. Hui Wing-mau

Hui Wing-mau, chairman and executive director of Shimao Property Holdings. Photo: SCMP
Hui Wing-mau, chairman and executive director of Shimao Property Holdings.

Net worth: US$11.4 billion

Age: 70

Territory: Hong Kong

Industry: Real estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; Shimao Property Holdings

Net worth year-over-year change: Up US$650 million in the last year

Hui Wing-mau serves as chairman of Shanghai-based property developer Shimao Property Holdings. The developer made US$15.7 billion in 2019. Hui is also the second-largest shareholder of the finance company Mason Financial Holdings as of 2016, according to Forbes.

8. Xu Hang

Xu Hang co-founded a Shenzhen-based medical device supply company, Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics. Photo: ImagineChina
Xu Hang co-founded a Shenzhen-based medical device supply company, Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics.

Net worth: US$13.1 billion

Age: 58

Territory: Hong Kong

Industry: Health care

Source of wealth: Self-made; Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics

Net worth year-over-year change: Up US$5.69 billion in the last year

Xu Hang co-founded a Shenzhen-based medical device supply company, Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics. The company made US$2.8 billion in 2019. Hang serves as its chairman. He has degrees in computer science, biomedical engineering and international business.

7. Peter Woo

Wharf (Holdings) Limited former chairman, Peter Woo Kwong-ching had married into the prominent Pao family. Photo: SCMP
Wharf (Holdings) Limited former chairman, Peter Woo Kwong-ching had married into the prominent Pao family.

Net worth: US$14.6 billion

Age: 73

Territory: Hong Kong

Industry: Real estate

Source of wealth: Inherited; Wheelock and Co. and Wharf

Net worth year-over-year change: Up US$1.89 billion in the last year

Peter Woo married into wealth. While working in finance in New York City, he met his future wife Bessie Pao, whose father owned Wheelock and Company, a real estate company, and Wharf, a real estate investment and developing company.

Woo took over the companies when Pao’s father died, according to Forbes. Woo served as chairman of Wharf until 2015 when he retired. His son, Douglas, serves as chairman of Wheelock and Company, which made US$6.3 billion in 2019.

6. Robin Zeng Yuqun

Robin Zeng Yuqun founded one of the largest electric car battery suppliers in the world. Photo: DPA
Robin Zeng Yuqun founded one of the largest electric car battery suppliers in the world.

Net worth: US$16.7 billion

Age: 52

Territory: Hong Kong

Industry: Industrial

Source of wealth: Self-made; Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL)

Net worth year-over-year change: Up US$7.77 billion in the last year

Zeng Yuqun founded Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) – one of the largest electric car battery suppliers in the world. Zeng is the chairman of CATL, which made US$4.5 billion in 2018.

CATL supplies batteries for car companies like BMW and Volkswagen.

5. Lui Che-woo

Lui Che-woo, chairman and founder of Galaxy Entertainment Group. Photo: Bloomberg
Lui Che-woo, chairman and founder of Galaxy Entertainment Group.

Net worth: US$17.9 billion

Age: 91

Territory: Hong Kong

Industry: Entertainment

Source of wealth: Self-made; K. Wah International Holdings and Galaxy Entertainment Group

Net worth year-over-year change: Up US$212 million in the last year

Lui Che-woo serves as chairman for Galaxy Entertainment Group, a Hong Kong-based casino company, and K. Wah International Holdings, a Hong Kong-based property developer. In 2015, Lui started financing the Lui Che-woo Prize, an annual prize of about US$2.5 million given to three people, Forbes reported in 2019. By 2019, nine people had won the prize, which is for “selfless” acts that benefit society, according to the Lui Che-woo Prize website.

4. Henry Cheng Kar-shun

New World Development chairman Henry Cheng Kar-shun. Photo: SCMP
New World Development chairman Henry Cheng Kar-shun.

Net worth: US$18.6 billion, per Bloomberg; US$1 billion per Forbes

Age: 74

Territory: Hong Kong

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Inherited; Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group and New World Development

Net worth year-over-year change: Up US$1.74 billion in the last year

Henry Cheng serves as chairman for two family companies – Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group and real estate company New World Development. In the first half of 2019, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group made US$9.8 billion.

3. Lee Man-tat

In this photo from 2009, David Lee (left) with his father Lee Man-tat. Photo: SCMP
In this photo from 2009, David Lee (left) with his father Lee Man-tat.

Net worth: US$19 billion

Age: 90

Territory: Hong Kong

Industry: Food and beverage

Source of wealth: Inherited; Lee Kum Kee

Net worth year-over-year change: Up US$2.6 billion in the last year

Lee Man-tat's grandfather, Kum Sheung, founded Lee Kum Kee, a Hong Kong-based condiment business that makes more oyster sauce than any other company in the world.

Lee's grandfather invented the condiment accidentally while overcooking mollusks more than 100 years ago, per Bloomberg. Today, Lee is the chairman of Lee Kum Kee's parent company, LKK Group.

2. Lee Shau-kee

Lee Shau-kee, set up one of the largest property development firms in Hong Kong. Photo: handout
Lee Shau-kee, set up one of the largest property development firms in Hong Kong.

Age: 92

Territory: Hong Kong

Industry: Real estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; Henderson Land Development

Net worth year-over-year change: Down US$3.41 billion in the last year

Lee Shau-kee founded Henderson Land Development, a Hong Kong-based real estate conglomerate, of which he is the largest shareholder. This is the source of a majority of Lee's wealth, Forbes reported. The company had US$58 billion in assets at the end of 2019.

Lee also co-founded Sun Hung Kai Properties, a Hong Kong-based property developer, alongside Kwok Tak-seng, a businessman who died in 1990.

Lee grew up in a low-income family and he has poured more than US$400 million into charities funding education, per his Forbes profile.

1. Li Ka-shing

Li Ka-shing may have stepped back from the day-to-day of CK Hutchison Holdings but remains a very influential figure in the city. Photo: SCMP
Li Ka-shing may have stepped back from the day-to-day of CK Hutchison Holdings but remains a very influential figure in the city.

Net worth: US$28 billion

Age: 92

Territory: Hong Kong

Industry: Real estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; CK Hutchison Holdings

Net worth year-over-year change: Down US$1.68 billion in the last year

Li Ka-shing founded CK Hutchison Holdings, an investment holding company, primarily for retail services. Li also founded CK Asset Holdings, another investment holding company geared towards real estate services.

Li served as chairman for both companies until May 2018, when his son, Victor, took over the roles, according to his Bloomberg Billionaires profile.

CK Hutchison made US$5.13 billion in 2019.

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