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#329 Robert Ng $5.22B

Random fact: Has history of overpaying for land to fend off competitors.

Overview

Ng is chairman of Sino Group, a Hong Kong-based real estate operation he controls with his brother, Philip. Sino owns the Conrad Hong Kong and Fullerton Hotel Singapore. The brothers also control Far East Organization, the largest private property developer in Singapore, and have stakes in Yeo Hiap Seng, a food and beverage company.

As of July 24, 2017:
Last change +$22.8M (+0.4%)
YTD change +$832M (+18.9%)
Industry Real Estate
Biggest asset Far East Organization
Citizenship Singapore
Age 62
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Robert Ng's net worth of $5.22B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Ng's wealth is held through Sino Group and Far East Organization, which he controls with his younger brother, Philip Ng. Each brother has a 25 percent stake in Far East Organization, with their mother, Tan Kim Choo, controlling the remainder. Both brothers are also credited with the wealth of their late father, Ng Teng Fong, being co-executors of the elder Ng's estate. Far East is the largest private developer in Singapore, according to the company's website in March 2017.

The valuation of the closely held property developer is based on the average enterprise value-to-sales and price-to-earnings of five publicly traded peer companies: Guocoland, UOL Group, City Developments, CapitaLand and Frasers Centrepoint. The company's 2015 revenue is calculated to be S$4.7 billion based on the revenue growth rate of the five publicly traded peers and this figure is used in the analysis.

His most valuable publicly traded asset is his 36 percent interest in Tsim Sha Tsui Properties, the Hong Kong-based holding company of developer Sino Land. Ng owns about 1.3 percent of Sino Land, excluding shares owned by Tsim Sha Tsui Properties. He has a 24 percent equity in Sino Hotels, which owns part of Conrad Hong Kong. The billionaire also owns about 18 percent of Singapore-based developer and beverage maker Yeo Hiap Seng; the stake excludes shares held by publicly traded companies that the family controls. Other publicly traded assets in Singapore include a 25 percent interest in Far East Hospitality Trust, which owns hotels and serviced residences, and 15 percent of hospitality and healthcare firm Far East Orchard.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes and market performance.

Bertha Cheung, a Far East Organization spokeswoman, declined to comment on his net worth.

Biography

Birthdate:
Family: Married, 4 children
Education: 1975, Middle Temple, Law, Graduated

Ng is the eldest son of Ng Teng Fong, who founded Far East Organization, the biggest closely held property developer in Singapore, and Sino Group in Hong Kong. His father died in 2010 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. Robert, trained as a lawyer, built the family's Hong Kong real estate business under the direction of the late patriarch and has been chairman of Sino Group -- parent of Hong Kong-listed Sino Land, Tsim Sha Tsui Properties and Sino Hotels -- since 1981. Younger brother Philip oversees Far East Organization.

Sino Land had its initial public offering in 1981. As a relative newcomer then, Robert had to compete with established players, including Cheung Kong, Sun Hung Kai Properties and Henderson Land Development, which held vast tracts of agricultural land bought decades earlier. He won a reputation for buying expensive plots of land to compete with the cartel of developers.

Undeterred by concerns that Hong Kong's prospects could change once Britain relinquished control of the territory in 1997, Ng bought what was then the most expensive piece of property ever sold at a government auction -- a waterfront site for HK$11.8 billion ($1.5 billion) -- months before the city's handover to China. When asked then if he was optimistic about the future of real estate in post-handover Hong Kong, the developer was cited by the South China Morning Post as saying: "You ask me this after we pitch HK$11 billion? Are you crazy?"

During the early 1980s, Sino Land struggled during a slump in property values, posting a loss of HK$118 million in 1984. Three years later, Ng's company lost a reported $125 million in the futures markets during the 1987 stock market crash. It bounced back. As Chinese property prices plummeted in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, Sino Land bought property in the southern Chinese cities of Xiamen, Fuzhou and Guangzhou. A consortium led by Sino Land opened what was then Asia's tallest building, Central Plaza in Hong Kong. Ng was part of a 1,200-member election committee that picked Hong Kong's new leader in 2012.

Milestones
  • 1960 Father, Ng Teng Fong, sets up Far East Organization in Singapore.
  • 1970 Sino Group is established in Hong Kong by his father.
  • 1981 Developer Sino Land starts trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
  • 1987 Far East Organization buys majority stake in Ming Court Hotel.
  • 1991 Becomes chairman of Sino Group.
  • 1991 Ming Court Hotel renamed Orchard Parade Hotel.
  • 1995 Majority stake in Yeo Hiap Seng acquired by Far East Organization.
  • 2010 Father dies at age 82 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.
  • 2012 Far East Organization lists hotel trust in Singapore.
  • 2016 Far East acquires majority stake in Australia's Vue Group