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    Hong Kong's 40 richest all billionaires again

    Hong Kong's 40 richest all billionaires again
    January 7, 2011


    Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing. Hong Kong's 40 richest tycoons are all US dollar billionaires again thanks to the surging Chinese economy, with the elite group worth a combined $163 billion, according to Forbes. Li is once again Hong Kong's richest person, with a $24 billion fortune.

    Hong Kong's 40 richest tycoons are all US dollar billionaires again thanks to the surging Chinese economy, with the elite group worth a combined $163 billion, Forbes said Thursday.

    The financial hub's wealthiest added $28 billion to their net worth over the last year, with all of the 40 richest boasting billion dollar fortunes, up from the previous annual list when six tycoons fell below that benchmark.

    The last time the top 40 were all billionaires was in 2008, before the global financial crisis, when their combined fortunes reached a peak of $178 billion, Forbes said.

    Li Ka-shing, the 82-year-old head of conglomerate Cheung Kong Holdings, was once again Hong Kong's richest person with a $24 billion fortune, up from $21.3 billion, according to the annual list compiled by Forbes business magazine.

    Li's son Richard ranked 30th with a $1.35 billion fortune.Following the elder Li were property giants the Kwok family at $20 billion, a $3 billion year-on-year boost, Forbes said.

    Henderson Land chief Lee Shau-kee, 82, grabbed third spot at $19.5 billion with his property giant losing value, but still boosting his net worth by $500 million year-on-year due to other investments, the magazine said.

    Developer Cheng Yu-tung was worth $9 billion, earning him fourth spot ahead of siblings Victor and William Fung, whose combined net worth was $8.6 billion, Forbes said.

    Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho, 89, took 13th spot with a $3.1 billion fortune.

    Hong Kong property prices have surged in the past year with over one-third of those on the top 40 list making the bulk of their money in real estate, more than any other industry, Forbes said.

    Forbes credited much of the surging wealth to Hong Kong's commercial links with mainland China, where the top 40 richest people are worth $137 billion, less than Hong Kong, a city of seven million.

    "There is no doubt that most of Hong Kongs wealthiest are riding the China wave," said Russell Flannery, a senior editor at the magazine.

    "Much has changed in China in the past few decades, but Hong Kong's role as an important conduit between foreign businesses and mainland's economy hasn't, and that's very apparent in this year's Hong Kong list," he added.

    terra.net.lb

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