Li Ka-shing maintains position as Hong Kong’s wealthiest despite economic downturn

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Li Ka-shing

22nd February 2024 – (Hong Kong) In the wake of a tumultuous economic landscape shaped by the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hong Kong’s richest individuals have seen a notable shrinkage in their combined fortunes. Despite this, the esteemed magnate Li Ka-shing continues to lead the pack, according to the 2024 Forbes ranking of Hong Kong’s 50 Richest.

The aggregate wealth of the tycoons on the list has fallen from a staggering US$324 billion to US$296 billion in the preceding year, reflecting the city’s struggle to bounce back from the pandemic’s financial consequences. Li Ka-shing, the venerated businessman, has withstood the decline, securing his position at the apex of the list with a net worth that, while reduced from US$39 billion to US$36.2 billion, still surpasses his peers.

Property magnate Lee Shau-kee remains steadfast at second place, despite his wealth receding to US$27 billion from US$30.3 billion. In the third position, real estate developer Henry Cheng Kar-shun and his family witnessed the most significant drop in absolute terms, with their fortune dwindling by nearly US$7 billion to US$22.1 billion, amidst cooling demand from mainland China.

The Lee siblings of LKK Group hold firm at fourth place, even as their collective net worth has diminished to US$17.7 billion from US$19.3 billion. Completing the top five, Peter Woo Kwong-ching of Wheelock & Co. has seen his fortune decline to US$13.7 billion from US$16.9 billion.

Nevertheless, amidst the prevailing economic headwinds, a dozen members of this exclusive list have managed to defy the odds and amass higher fortunes. Notably, shipping magnate Helmut Sohmen saw his wealth ascend by US$750 million to US$6.25 billion, propelled by the performance of his younger fleet and buoyant stock of his Oslo-listed tanker firm Hafnia, which elevated him three places to 14th.

The current year’s list is also marked by the arrival of three new entrants. Among them is Solina Chau Hoi Shuen, who claims the 35th spot with a net worth of US$2.3 billion. She co-founded Horizons Ventures, an investment entity supported by Li Ka-shing. Chow Shing-Yuk makes his debut at position 41, with US$1.9 billion, following his logistics and delivery company, Lalatech Holdings, filing for an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The storied Keswick family enters the ranks at number 34, flaunting a net worth of US$2.35 billion after a strategic restructuring of Jardine Matheson Holdings’ intricate cross-holdings.

This year’s threshold for inclusion on the list has risen to US$1.1 billion, up from the previous year’s US$965 million, hinting at a consolidation of wealth among Hong Kong’s elite, even as the broader economic landscape remains uncertain. The resilience of these tycoons underscores the dynamism and enduring entrepreneurial spirit that characterise Hong Kong’s business sector.

Here is the list of Hong Kong’s top 50 richest individuals for the year 2024:

  1. Li Ka-shing – $36.2 B – Diversified
  2. Lee Shau Kee – $27 B – Real Estate
  3. Henry Cheng & family – $22.1 B – Diversified
  4. Lee siblings – $17.7 B – Food & Beverage
  5. Peter Woo – $13.7 B – Real Estate
  6. Joseph Lau – $13.1 B – Real Estate
  7. Lui Che Woo – $12.1 B – Gambling & Casinos
  8. Kwong Siu-hing – $11.4 B – Real Estate
  9. Joseph Tsai – $8.5 B – Technology
  10. Francis Choi – $8.2 B – Real Estate
  11. Law Kar Po – $7.7 B – Real Estate
  12. Jean Salata – $6.5 B – Finance & Investments
  13. Michael Kadoorie – $6.3 B – Energy
  14. Helmut Sohmen – $6.25 B – Logistics
  15. Tung Chee Hwa, Chee Chen & family – $6.2 B – Logistics
  16. Horst Julius Pudwill – $4.9 B – Manufacturing
  17. Geoffrey & Jonathan Kwok – $4.6 B – Real Estate
  18. Yeung Kin-man & Lam Wai-ying – $4.5 B – Manufacturing
  19. Richard Li – $4.4 B – Telecom
  20. Thomas & Adam Kwok – $4 B – Real Estate
  21. Raymond, Edward & Christopher Kwok – $3.9 B – Real Estate
  22. Pansy Ho – $3.7 B – Gambling & Casinos
  23. Samuel Tak Lee – $3.6 B – Real Estate
  24. Edwin Leong – $3.55 B – Real Estate
  25. Rita Tong Liu – $3.3 B – Real Estate
  26. Ronald McAulay – $3.1 B – Energy
  27. David Fong & family – $2.8 B – Real Estate
  28. Harindarpal Banga – $2.79 B – Finance & Investments
  29. Patrick Lee – $2.75 B – Manufacturing
  30. Silas Chou & family – $2.6 B – Fashion & Retail
  31. Chan Tan Ching-fen – $2.55 B – Real Estate
  32. Or Wai Sheun – $2.5 B – Real Estate
  33. Angela Leong – $2.4 B – Real Estate
  34. Keswick family – $2.35 B – Diversified
  35. Solina Chau – $2.3 B – Finance & Investments
  36. Michael Ying – $2.25 B – Fashion & Retail
  37. Tang Yiu – $2.2 B – Fashion & Retail
  38. Jim Thompson – $2.15 B – Logistics
  39. Victor & William Fung – $2.1 B – Logistics
  40. Wong Man Li – $2 B – Manufacturing
  41. Chow Shing Yuk – $1.9 B – Logistics
  42. Goodwin Gaw & family – $1.85 B – Real Estate
  43. Martin Lau – $1.81 B – Technology
  44. Robert Miller – $1.8 B – Fashion & Retail
  45. Daniel Chiu – $1.6 B – Energy
  46. Vincent Lo – $1.45 B – Real Estate
  47. Gordon Wu – $1.4 B – Real Estate
  48. Li Sze Lim – $1.35 B – Real Estate
  49. Allan Wong – $1.15 B – Manufacturing
  50. Kenneth Lo – $1.1 B – Fashion & Retail