Li Ka-shing reclaims rank of HK's wealthiest with assets rising by 20pc to US$35.4b
Retired billionaire, Li Ka-shing, has reclaimed his prime position as Hong Kong’s richest this year, due to a 20 percent jump in his fortune to US$35.4 billion, the February/March issue of Forbes Asia, reveals.
While the share price of his property developer CK Asset Holdings was down by 27 percent, Li benefited from his stake in the U.S.-listed videoconference provider Zoom.
Also, while the combined wealth of tycoons on the 2021 Forbes Hong Kong Rich List increased by 7.5 percent to US$331 billion, up from US$308 billion last year, more than half saw a pandemic-induced drop in their net worth.
Hong Kong’s economy contracted 6.1 percent in 2020, its worst performance since 1998 during the Asian financial crisis. Stock market gains provided some reprieve as the benchmark Hang Seng index was up by 5 percent since fortunes were last measured 13 months ago, Forbes Asia says.
Property tycoon Lee Shau Kee, who surpassed Li last year by a slim lead, saw his wealth remain relatively unchanged and ranks at No. 2 with US$30.5 billion. Henry Cheng and family added US$1.4 billion to their net worth of US$22.1 billion, retaining the third spot on the list, Forbes Asia says.
This year’s biggest dollar gainers by far were husband and wife Yeung Kin-man and Lam Wai-ying, who benefited from the soaring demand for smartphone glass covers made by their company Biel Crystal. The duo more than doubled their wealth to US$18.6 billion and jumped six spots to No. 4.
Wong Man Li (No. 14, US$6.3 billion) of furniture maker Man Wah Holdings, was this year’s biggest gainer in percentage terms. His net wealth was up by 200 percent, as demand in China for the company’s products boosted annual revenue by 19 percent to US$857 million for the year ended September 2020.
Horst Julius Pudwill (No. 12, US$6.7 billion), whose net wealth was up by 81 percent, is featured on the cover of the latest issue of Forbes Asia. Shares in his Techtronic Industries jumped on booming sales of power tools and floorcare products.
More than half of the 27 listees who saw their fortunes decline this year were property tycoons, as the real estate sector was hit hard by the pandemic. Peter Woo (No. 7, US$17 billion), who took his Wheelock & Co private last June, bucked that trend. His wealth was up by 47 percent, as the company had a 52 percent surge in value after ending its 57-year run as a listed company, Forbes Asia says.
The minimum amount required to make the list was US$1 billion, down from US$1.2 billion last year.
The list was compiled using information from analysts, government agencies, individuals, stock exchanges, various databases and other sources. Net worths were based on stock prices and exchange rates as of the close of markets on Feb. 5 and real-time net worths on Forbes.com may reflect different valuations.
Private companies were valued by using financial ratios and other comparisons with similar companies that are publicly traded. The estimates include a spouse’s wealth and, where the person is the company founder, also include the wealth of sons, daughters and siblings that is derived from that company.