Forbes China just released its 2014 Rich List, detailing the fortunes of the 290 richest Chinese tycoons, and found that five out of the top ten fat cats come from the real estate sector, with two more owning development companies.
Leading the list again this year is Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing, whose Cheung Kong Holdings is one of the largest developers of residential, office, retail, industrial and hotel properties in Hong Kong. Li’s fortune is estimated at US$31 billion. The survey examined the assets of Chinese wealthy individuals on the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as in other parts of the world.
Second on the Rich List in 2014 is Lui Che Woo, owner of gaming company Galaxy Entertainment Group whose assets are said to total US$22 billion. Hong Kong-based Lui’s family business controls gambling operations in Macau, and while not strictly a real estate guy, he happens to own Hong Kong-listed developer K. Wah.
Coming in third is Lee Shau-kee of Hong Kong, the majority owner of Henderson Land Development, a property conglomerate with interests in properties, hotels, restaurants and internet services. Lee’s assets are said to total $19.6 billion.
In fourth place is Cheng Yu-tung with assets of $16.2 billion. The chairman of New World Development Corporation, also owns the Chow Tai Fook chain of jewelry stores.
Next on the list, at number six, is the first non-property entrant, Pony Ma of software provider Tencent, with assets of $13.4 billion.
Winning the award for best appearance as a duo, at number seven we have brothers Thomas and Raymond Kwok of Hong Kong developer Sun Hung Kai, with combined assets of $12.6 billion.
Another software guru finishes eighth, as Baidu’s Robin Li is estimated to have accumulated $12.1 billion by being China’s answer to Google.
At number nine, we find China’s one-time richest man, Zong Qinghou, of soft-drink maker Wahaha with a fortune of $11.6 billion.
At number 10 is hotel and real estate tycoon Robert Kuok, with personal assets of $11.5 billion. Kuok started out in the sugar industry before founding the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts group. In addition to owning most of his hotels, the Malaysian-born billionaire also owns property developer Kerry Properties.
Among the 290 names on the list, 52 percent are from the Chinese mainland, 15 percent from Hong Kong and 10 percent from Taiwan.