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Li Ka shing Net Worth

Li Ka-shing is the richest person in Hong Kong by net worth and a major philanthropist through his foundation. With an estimated wealth of USD 36.2 billion, Li holds the top spot in Forbes’ list of Hong Kong’s 50 Richest in 2024. His fortune also makes Li one of the 45 richest people in the world.

Li Ka-shing, who is nicknamed ‘Superman,’ was born on 13 June 1928 in Chaozhou, Guangdong province, China. That makes him 95 years old at the time of publication of Forbes’ 2024 report. Though Li certainly is one of the oldest billionaires in the world, he is still seven years younger than the world’s oldest billionaire — 102-year-old American insurance magnate George Joseph.

Li is the Senior Advisor of CK Hutchison Holdings and CK Asset Holdings — companies he founded and served as chairman till 2018.

CK Hutchison Holdings was formed in 2015 with the merger of Li’s two most famous companies: Cheung Kong Holdings and its main associate company Hutchison Whampoa. All of his non-property businesses are controlled by CK Hutchison Holdings. His property businesses are under CK Asset Holdings.

Net worth of Li Ka-shing: His companies, investments and wealth

The richest person in Hong Kong in 2024

Li Ka shing
Image credit: Li Ka Shing Foundation

According to Forbes’ 2024 estimate, Li Ka-shing continues to maintain his position as the richest billionaire in Hong Kong. Not only does he lead the pack, but he is also around USD 9 billion ahead of second-placed Lee Shau Kee of Henderson Land and around USD 14 billion ahead of third-placed property developer and jeweller Henry Cheng.

As the list below shows, the names in the top 10 remain unchanged from Forbes’ 2023 rich list whose figure is listed within brackets:

1. Li Ka-shing — USD 36.2 billion (USD 39 billion)

2. Lee Shau Kee — USD 27 billion (USD 30.3 billion)

3. Henry Cheng & Family — USD 22.1 billion (USD 28.9 billion)

4. Lee siblings — USD 17.7 billion (USD 19.3 billion)

5. Peter Woo — USD 13.7 billion (USD 16.9 billion)

6. Joseph Lau — USD 13.1 billion (USD 13.2 billion)

7. Lui Che Woo — USD 12.1 billion (USD 14.9 billion)

8. Kwong Siu-hing — USD 11.4 billion (USD 15.2 billion)

9. Joseph Tsai — USD 8.5 billion (USD 8.5 billion)

10. Francis Choi — USD 8.2 billion (USD 8.2 billion)

But as the list shows, the Hong Kong billionaires, most of whom are real estate tycoons, saw a decline in their net worth through 2023 due to a stagnant property sector.

Li lost around USD 3 billion, but that hasn’t changed his stature as one of the most respected businessmen in Asia.

Though the post-pandemic recovery in Hong Kong has been slower than expected, the economy of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) grew 3.2 per cent in 2023, thanks to a rise in tourist arrivals and consumption. This, most likely, would help stem the decline in the fortunes of Hong Kong’s richest, including Li.

Given Li’s astute business skills that he perfected over seven decades, there is hope that the ‘Superman’ will continue as the richest person in Hong Kong for a long time. After all, Li is credited with having a hand in transforming Hong Kong into the Asian financial centre it is today.

But how did Li build his vast fortune?

From a difficult childhood to the founding of Cheung Kong

Li Ka-shing is today one of the most powerful men in Asia. But he had a very difficult childhood, marked by early hardship.

Born into a poor family, he was forced to flee China during the second Sino-Japanese War of World War II. The family arrived in Hong Kong when he was 12 years old. His father was a primary school principal in China but was forced to work at a watch factory later. Two or three years after they arrived in Hong Kong, Li lost his father to tuberculosis.

“The most terrible experience during my childhood was witnessing my father’s suffering and ultimately dying of TB. I too was infected,” Li said in an interview with Forbes in 2010.

The need to support the family forced the then-15-year-old him to quit school and start working as a salesman at a plastics factory. The experience he gained at the factory eventually made him what he is today.

He worked 16 hours a day and by the age of 18 was promoted to factory manager. Four years later, in 1950, Lee ventured on his own and founded Cheung Kong Industries. Its name was inspired by China’s Yangtze River, which, in Li’s vision, was an example of synergy and unity through the many streams and rivers that converged into it.

The factory was established with USD 6,500, which came from Li’s savings and loans from family members. His company continued to grow through the 1950s, exporting plastic flowers to the US. One of his biggest clients was the toy maker Hasbro, for whom Cheung Kong manufactured the famed G.I. Joe line of toys.

Li Ka-shing as a real estate tycoon

Li Ka shing net worth
Image credit: Li Ka Shing Foundation

While his plastics business was a sure-shot success, Li Ka-shing began venturing into the booming real estate market in Hong Kong. He acquired properties at a breakneck speed, helped by the demand created by the increasing number of refugees in Hong Kong during the 1950s.

As Hong Kong began its stratospheric rise as a centre of Asia’s economy with its rapidly growing infrastructure, Li’s real estate empire continued flourishing through the 1960s.

In 1972, he listed Cheung Kong Holdings Limited on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. By the end of the 1970s, he had become the first Hong Kong Chinese to hold the reins of a large foreign-funded conglomerate when he acquired the failing dock company Hutchison Whampoa and turned it into an international port giant.

A 2012 Forbes profile on Li underlines that one in seven residences in Hong Kong were built by the companies owned by him.

Increasing diversification

He bought around a 50 per cent stake in Canadian company Husky Energy in 1986 for USD 500 million and eventually became its owner by 1991. He turned it into a major oil company. By 2012, his stake was worth USD 8 billion.

In 2021, Canadian oil major Cenovus Energy acquired Husky in a USD 2.9 billion deal, with Li’s company retaining around 27 per cent stake.

He was also a shareholder in Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, before selling his stake in 2005.

He forayed into the UK market through Hutchison Whampoa with Orange mobile phone network in the 1990s, which he launched after investing in a money-losing phone operation called Rabbit. Orange, a telecom success story, was sold to German engineering and telecoms conglomerate Mannesmann in 1999 for USD 14.6 billion in cash.

By the end of the 1990s, Li had established his base in ports, utilities, retail and telecommunications across continents. By 2012, he handled 70 per cent of Hong Kong’s port traffic and controlled much of the market of electric utilities.

In 2010, Cheung Kong acquired a stake in UK Power Networks for USD 9.1 billion. By 2012, it was supplying power to about 8 million Britons. The following year, he acquired England’s Northumbrian Water, a supplier of clean drinking water and provider of sewerage utilities.

Investments in tech companies

As the world took a turn to Big Tech in the 2000s, Li Ka-shing looked at investments in tech companies. He established a private investment fund Horizons Ventures in 2005.

His first Big Tech investment was in December 2007 in a company founded only three years ago — Facebook.

According to Forbes, Li said that it took him just five minutes to decide to invest in Facebook (now Meta). The company barely had revenues at the time, but Li pumped in USD 60 million and doubled down months later in Mark Zuckerberg’s creation. Today, it is one of the world’s largest companies with a market cap of USD 1.2 trillion.

Over the next few years, Li also invested in Siri (acquired by Apple in 2010), Spotify, Skype (acquired by Microsoft in 2011), Waze, Zoom and energy drink maker Celsius Holdings through Horizons Ventures.

Interestingly, the investment successes of Horizon Ventures have also turned its co-founder Solina Chau into a debutant on Forbes’ list in 2024 with a net worth of USD 2.3 billion.

Li, on the other hand, has around USD 3 billion in tech investments through Horizons Ventures.

See Also

Horizons Ventures has over 140 active investments in 17 countries, including one-third in the US. It has two dozen investments across Pan-Asia, including 12 in Australia, seven in India and five in Indonesia. It recently opened an office in Singapore, which is its first outside of Hong Kong.

The Li Ka Shing Foundation

Li Ka shing foundation
Image credit: Li Ka Shing Foundation

According to a 2012 Forbes story, Li said that his personal wealth has no connection to the returns from his investments through the fund.

Profits earned are instead directed to Li Ka Shing Foundation — one of the largest philanthropic organisations in the world, focusing on education, healthcare and poverty alleviation.

According to Forbes, the foundation, which was established in 1980, has said that it spent around USD 4 billion on social causes.

How does Li Ka-shing spend his fortune?

Li Ka-shing is also called the Warren Buffet of Asia. Part of this is because of his simple lifestyle. He has lived in the same mansion located in Deep Water Bay on Hong Kong Island for around six decades.

Life Buffet never gave up on his simple Samsung flip phone, Li wore a USD 50 Seiko watch for decades. It was only recently that he switched to a USD 500 solar-powered Citizen Eco-Drive watch.

He has also pledged to give away one-third of his wealth to charitable causes through the Li Ka Shing Foundation, which he describes as his “third son.”

Who controls Li’s businesses?

Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, the elder son of Li Ka-shing, is the chair of the board and group co-managing director of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited and the chairman of the board and managing director of CK Asset Holdings Limited.

As of 23 February 2024, CK Hutchison Holdings has a market cap of HKD 161.63 billion (USD 20.66 billion) while CK Asset Holdings has HKD 129.70 billion (USD 16.58 billion). The total market cap of the two comes to around USD 36.5 billion, which is substantially less than the approximately USD 80 billion they together were when Li stepped down as chairman in 2018.

Among the numerous businesses under CK Hutchison Holdings are 54 ports in 25 countries. It also controls Watson Group, which is the world’s leading global health and beauty retailer with 16,300 stores in 28 markets.

On the other hand, one of CK Asset Holdings’ biggest acquisitions happened in 2019 when it acquired Greene King, the UK’s biggest pubs and brewery group, for USD 5.6 billion.

(Hero and Featured images: Li Ka Shing Foundation)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– Who is the richest person in Hong Kong?

Li Ka-shing is the richest person in Hong Kong.

– What company does Li Ka-shing own?

Li Ka-shing is the owner of CK Hutchison Holdings and CK Asset Holdings.

The post Li Ka-shing’s Net Worth: All About the Richest Billionaire of Hong Kong appeared first on Prestige Online – HongKong.

Source: Prestige Online

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