Li Ka-shing is HK's richest: Forbes

11:32, February 05, 2010      

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Li Ka-shing, chairman of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd, is Hong Kong's richest person with a net worth of $21.3 billion, Forbes Asia Magazine reported, after his wealth gained $5 billion in the past year.

The total net worth of Hong Kong's 40 richest people swelled to $135 billion, up from $82 billion a year ago, the magazine said. Not one list member is poorer, it said.

Still, the list members' combined wealth remains below its 2008 high of $179 billion. Li Ka-shing's fortune is less than the magazine's $32 billion estimate of his wealth in 2008.

Over a dozen of Hong Kong's 40 richest people have "substantial" real estate investments in Chinese mainland, the magazine said.

Eight newcomers made the list including Allan Wong, cofounder of Vtech Holdings Ltd, the maker of cordless phones and electronic education toys; Tang Hsiang Chien, father of Hong Kong's chief secretary for administration, Henry Tang; and Harindarpal Banga, vice chairman of Noble Group Ltd.

Li, 81, is dubbed "superman" by Hong Kong's media because of his track record for investing. He correctly predicted in 2007 that China's stock market was in a "bubble." His fortune was estimated at $16.2 billion by Forbes magazine in March 2009.

Li was born in 1928 in Chaozhou in the southern Chinese Guangdong province and expanded the Hong Kong plastics company he founded in 1950 through real-estate investments and acquisitions. His Cheung Kong group owns units in industries including ports, telecommunications, energy, property and retail in more than 50 countries.
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