The 2023 Forbes list of the 50 richest people in Hong Kong was released on 23 February. Billionaire businessman Li Ka-shing maintained his position as the richest person in Hong Kong with a net worth of USD 39 billion.
Though Li’s personal wealth rose by USD 3 billion from the previous year, Forbes noted that there has been a slight drop in the combined wealth of the 50 richest people.
According to the publication, the net worth of all 50 combined fell from USD 328 billion in 2022 to USD 324 billion in 2023 — a drop of USD 4 billion.
Owing to weak domestic demand and disruptions in exports, Hong Kong’s economy contracted by 3.5 percent in 2022, and the benchmark Hang Seng Index declined 12 percent from a year ago. However, the ease in pandemic restrictions might help in recovery, noted Forbes.
Two real-estate tycoons follow Li on the list
Li’s net worth rose despite a dip in the shares of his flagship infrastructure conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings. As per Forbes, his overall net worth improved after PepsiCo announced a USD 550-million investment in his energy drink company Celsius Holdings, which almost doubled the value of the latter’s shares.
Li is followed by Lee Shau Kee of Henderson Land. The real estate tycoon has a net worth of USD 30.3 billion, though it marked a fall of 11 percent.
Property developer Henry Cheng continued his hold on the third spot for the fourth consecutive time with a net worth of USD 28.9 billion. His wealth, which Forbes noted he shares with his family, rose USD 2.5 billion on the back of a rise in demand for gold jewellery. The demand fuelled a rise of 20 percent in the shares of his company, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group.
Major gainers and those who lost wealth
At No.15 is Jean Salata, the biggest gainer on the list. Salata doubled his net worth from USD 2.95 billion to USD 5.9 billion by selling his Baring Private Equity Asia in October 2022 to Stockholm-based private equity giant EQT.
Shipping tycoon Helmut Sohmen improved his net worth by 53 percent to reach USD 5.5 billion and the 17th spot on the 2023 list, owing to a strong performance of his company BW Group.
Hip Shing Hong Group’s co-chairman David Fong is the only newcomer on the list. With a net worth of USD 2.3 billion, Fong replaced his late father Fong Yun Wah at the No.35 spot.
Among the names who lost wealth are Yeung Kin-man and Lam Wai-ying of Biel Crystal, which makes glass covers for smartphones. Forbes said that the couple lost about half their wealth to drop to No.21 with USD 4.4 billion. They had to postpone their company’s initial public offering (IPO) because of a slump in global smartphone demand.
The other major drop in wealth was in the case of SenseTime co-founder Tang Xiao’ou. As the AI firm continued to suffer losses, Tang’s wealth dropped around 60 percent to USD 2.5 billion, placing him in the No.33 position.
Hong Kong’s 50 richest on Forbes 2023 list
1. Li Ka-shing— USD 39 billion
2. Lee Shau Kee — USD 3 billion
3. Henry Cheng & family— USD 9 billion
4. Lee siblings— USD 3 billion
5. Peter Woo— USD 9 billion
6. Kwong Siu-hing— USD 2 billion
7. Lui Che Woo— USD 9 billion
8. Joseph Lau— USD 2 billion
9. Joseph Tsai— USD 5 billion
10. Francis Choi— USD 2 billion
11. Law Kar Po— USD 7 billion
12. Tung Chee Hwa & Chee Chen & family— USD 5 billion
13. Michael Kadoorie— USD 3 billion
14. Horst Julius Pudwill— USD 6 billion
15. Jean Salata— USD 9 billion
16. Geoffrey & Jonathan Kwok— USD 8 billion
17. Helmut Sohmen— USD 5 billion
18. Thomas & Adam Kwok— USD 2 billion
19. Raymond, Edward & Christopher Kwok— USD 1 billion
20. Richard Li— USD 7 billion
21. Yeung Kin-man & Lam Wai-ying— USD 4 billion
22. Pansy Ho— USD 8 billion
23. Patrick Lee— USD 7 billion
24. Edwin Leong— USD 65 billion
25. Samuel Tak Lee— USD 6 billion
26. Rita Tong Liu & siblings— USD 5 billion
27. Chan Tan Ching-fen— USD 2 billion
28. Or Wai Sheun— USD 15 billion
29. Wong Man Li— USD 1 billion
30. Ronald McAulay— USD 3 billion
31. Harindarpal Banga— USD 75 billion
32. Angela Leong— USD 7 billion
33. Tang Xiao’ou— USD 5 billion
34. Martin Lau— USD 35 billion
35. David Fong & family — USD 3 billion
36. Tang Yiu— USD 25 billion
37. Daniel Chiu— USD 2 billion
38. Michael Ying— USD 1 billion
39. Robert Miller— USD 9 billion
40. Victor & William Fung— USD 85 billion
41. Jim Thompson— USD 8 billion
42. Goodwin Gaw & family— USD 75 billion
43. Vincent Lo— USD 7 billion
44. Li Sze Lim— USD 6 billion
45. Gordon Wu — USD 5 billion
46. Lawrence Ho— USD 4 billion
47. Allan Wong — USD 2 billion
48. Zhuo Jun— USD 1 billion
49. Pollyanna Chu— USD 990 million
50. Kenneth Lo — USD 965 million
(Main image: Ruslan Bardash/Unsplash; Featured image: EdTech Stanford University School of Medicine/CC BY 2.0/Wikimedia Commons)
This story first appeared here.