Connect with us

Business

Li ‘zooms’ to top of HK’s richest

Stock market gains provided some reprieve as the benchmark Hang Seng index grew five percent since fortunes were last measured 13 months ago

TDT

Published

on

photograph courtesy of forbes Combined wealth of tycoons on the 2021 Forbes Hong Kong Rich List rose 7.5 percent to $331 billion even as more than half saw a drop in their net worth.

The combined wealth of tycoons in the Special Administrative Region of China rose 7.5 percent to $331 billion, up from $308 billion last year, with more than half seeing a pandemic-induced drop in their net worth, according to the 2021 Forbes Hong Kong Rich List.

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 grew five percent since fortunes were last measured 13 months ago.

Li Ka-shing, a high school dropout who got his start selling plastic, reclaimed his prime position as Hong Kong’s richest this year, due to a 20 percent jump in his fortune to $35.4 billion.

While the share price of his property developer CK Asset Holdings was down 27 percent, Li benefited from his stake in the US-listed videoconference provider Zoom.

Li Ka-shing, a high school dropout who got his start selling plastic, reclaimed his prime position as Hong Kong’s richest this year, due to a 20 percent jump in his fortune to $35.4 billion.

Back at second spot
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 $30.5 billion. Henry Cheng and family added $1.4 billion to their net worth of $22.1 billion, retaining the third spot on the list.

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 $18.6 billion and jumped six spots to No. 4.

Wong Man Li (No. 14, $6.3 billion) of furniture maker Man Wah Holdings, was this year’s biggest gainer in percentage terms.

His net wealth was up 200 percent, as demand in China for the company’s products boosted annual revenue by 19 percent to $857 million for the year ended September 2020.

Properties remain a sure bet

Horst Julius Pudwill (12th, $6.7 billion), whose net wealth was up 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 (7th, $17 billion), who took his Wheelock & Co private last June, bucked that trend.

His wealth was up 47 percent, as the company saw a 52 percent surge in value after ending its 57-year run as a listed company.

The fortunes of other property magnates took a hit, including Joseph Lau (8th, $13.5 billion) of Chinese Estates Holdings, Tang Shing-bor (19th, $4.75 billion) of Stan Group, Pan Sutong (41th, $1.8 billion) of Goldin Properties, Vincent Lo (42nd, $1.75 billion) of Shui On Land and Vivien Chen (48th, $1.25 billion) of Nan Fung Group. Lau’s brother Thomas Lau, who derives much of his wealth from malls and real estate, dropped off the list altogether.

This year’s ranking saw just one returnee “Goodwin Gaw, founder of private equity firm Gaw Capital Partners, who appears at 44th with $1.6 billion.

The minimum amount required to make the list was $1 billion, down from $1.2 billion last year.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement