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#61 Henry Cheng $18.0B

Random fact: Was sued by Donald Trump for $1 billion in 2005.

Overview

Cheng is the chairman of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, a Hong Kong-based jeweler with sales of HK$51.2 billion ($6.6 billion) in the year to March 2017. He also controls New World Development, a real estate and infrastructure company. Cheng is the eldest son of deceased billionaire Cheng Yu-tung and controls the assets with his siblings.

As of May 25, 2018:
Last change +$84.3M (+0.5%)
YTD change +$2.00B (+12.6%)
Industry Retail
Biggest asset 1929 HK Equity
Citizenship Hong Kong
Age 71
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Henry Cheng's net worth of $18.0B can buy ...

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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
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The majority of the Cheng fortune is derived from a 67 percent stake in Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, a Hong Kong-based jeweler. He also controls a 33 percent stake in property developer New World Development.

Henry Cheng and his three siblings control the two publicly traded companies through closely-held Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, which was owned by their father, Cheng Yu-tung, until he died in September 2016. The siblings have a 77 percent stake in Chow Tai Fook Enterprises through their ownership of Cheng Yu Tung Family (Holdings) Limited and Cheng Yu Tung Family (Holdings II), according to a Hong Kong stock exchange filing dated December 2017. 

The split among the siblings isn't known and the billionaire is credited with the assets because he's chairman of the family's flagship companies. Cheng is also credited with the value of his father's cash investments at the time if his death, which is based on an analysis of market performance, dividends and taxes.

The family owns stakes in a number of other publicly traded companies, including a 2 percent stake in Ping An Insurance, and an 18 percent stake in Hong Kong-based apparel retailer Giordano International.

A spokeswoman for New World Development, who asked not to be identified, said the company declined to comment on the family's holdings or the ownership breakdown between the siblings.

Biography

Birthdate: 1946
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: 4/1997, University of Western Ontario/The, Doctorate Degree, Law 5/1996, Johnson & Wales University, Doctorate Degree, Business Administration

Henry Cheng was born in Hong Kong in 1946, the eldest son of billionaire Cheng Yu-tung. His parents had moved that same year to the then-British colony from Macau to expand their jewelry business, Chow Tai Fook, which had been established by Henry’s grandfather in 1929.

Henry studied at the Salesian School in Shau Kei Wan and later moved to Canada where he earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business.

His father used the profits from the family’s jewelry business to expand into property in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he said in a 2009 interview with analysts at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets. He acquired more real estate beginning in May 1967, when the Cultural Revolution spread to Hong Kong, and again following the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989.

Cheng senior established the property developer New World Development in 1970 and held its initial public offering in Hong Kong two years later. Some of his projects included the New World Centre, a retail-hotel-residential-office complex in Kowloon, followed by the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in the mid-'80s.

Henry was appointed a director in 1972, became managing director in 1989. When he first took over the family business, he kicked off a series of acquisitions, including the purchase of the Ramada hotel chain and Wing On (Holdings) Ltd. That drove up the family empire’s debts so high that the founder stepped back in and sold some assets. His father retired as chairman for the second time at age 86 in 2012.

Meanwhile, their jewelry company Chow Tai Fook has grown from one Beijing store in 1998 to 1,500 outlets in China in 2011. The jewelry chain went public in December 2011, selling a 10.5 percent stake that raised $2 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The billionaire lives with his wife and family in Hong Kong. His father died at age 91 in September 2016. He has three siblings with whom he shares the family fortune.

Milestones
  • 1925 Father Cheng Yu-tung is born in Shunde, Guangdong province.
  • 1929 Grandfather establishes Chow Tai Fook in Macau.
  • 1946 Henry is born in Hong Kong.
  • 1970 Cheng Yu-tung establishes New World Development.
  • 1972 Henry becomes a director at New World Development.
  • 2005 Donald Trump sues Henry and Vincent Lo for $1 billion.
  • 2011 Chow Tai Fook holds initial public offering in Hong Kong.
  • 2014 New World's $2.4 billion plan to take China unit private collapses.
  • 2017 Joins consortium investing in I-Cable, a pay-TV system operator.