Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#20 Li Ka-Shing $32.9B

Random fact: Local media call him "Superman" for his business acumen.

Overview

Li controls CK Hutchison Holdings, a Hong Kong-based infrastructure conglomerate with revenue of HK$260 billion ($33.5 billion) in 2016. He also controls Cheung Kong Property Holdings, a developer and owner of real estate. The two companies emerged in 2015 from the biggest-ever reorganization of his corporate empire.

As of July 24, 2017:
Last change +$65.0M (+0.2%)
YTD change +$4.26B (+14.9%)
Industry Real Estate
Biggest asset 1 HK Equity
Citizenship Hong Kong
Age 88
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Li Ka-Shing's net worth of $32.9B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

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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 Li's wealth consists of stakes in publicly traded companies, including real estate developer Cheung Kong Property Holdings, Hong Kong-based conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings and Canadian oil and gas producer Husky Energy. He reorganized his companies in 2015, dismantling the web of businesses that had owned stakes in one another.

After the reorganization, Li has 30 percent of both CK Hutchison, with assets ranging from ports and infrastructure to mobile-phone networks, and Cheung Kong Property, which owns his real estate assets. Other publicly traded holdings include Hutchison Telecom Hong Kong and Cheung Kong Infrastructure. His shares are held through several holding companies and trusts registered in Hong Kong, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Panama, according to filings to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The value of his cash and other investable assets is based on an analysis of dividend income, insider transactions, taxes and market performances, as well as charitable giving and funding provided to his son, Richard.

Laura Cheung, a spokeswoman for Li, declined to comment on the billionaire's net worth in February 2017.

Biography

Birthdate: 7/29/1928
Family: Widowed, 2 children
Education:

Li's family fled to Hong Kong from China in 1940 to escape Japanese invaders. At age 14, after his father died, Li had to work as a factory apprentice to support his family. He established a factory that made plastic flowers in 1950, then began investing in real estate.

He bought property in Hong Kong after rioting incited by the Cultural Revolution depressed prices in 1967 (he did so again after the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989). Twelve years later, about one out of every seven private residences in the city were developed by Li's flagship company, Cheung Kong. Today, it is the world's third largest property developer by market value.

Li won control of British trading house Hutchison Whampoa in 1979, negotiating with Hongkong and Shanghai Bank to buy its 22 percent stake in Hutchison for less than half its book value. At the time, Hutchison owned docks, repair shipyards, property and retail stores in Hong Kong and Guangdong. Li spent the next decade expanding Hutchison's core businesses outside of Hong Kong, building Hutchison into one of the world's two largest private port operators. Its retail businesses operate over 12,000 stores spread globally among a dozen chains. It also provides mobile network service to about 90 million customers worldwide.

In 1987, he bought a controlling stake in Husky Energy, then a small Canadian oil and gas driller that had slashed operations when oil dropped below $10 a barrel. Husky executives had sought Li's investment. Since its initial public offering in 2000, Husky shares have surged more than eightfold at its peak in 2008. The company is one of Canada's largest integrated energy companies, with operations stretching from the Atlantic to Asia.

Nicknamed "Superman" for his investing prowess, Li accurately predicted in 2007 that China's stock market bubble would burst. And in early 2009, he foresaw the start of a rally in Hong Kong home prices. Values soared 70 percent through June 2011. In May 2012, he said his oldest son Victor would succeed him as chairman of Cheung Kong and Hutchison Whampoa, while younger son Richard would receive Li's full support and funding equal to several times the amount of assets Richard already owns independently to acquire new businesses.

In 2015, the billionaire completed the biggest reorganization of his corporate empire with the creation of Cheung Kong Property Holdings, to hold his real estate assets, and CK Hutchison Holdings, which owns ports, retailers and mobile-phone networks. A September 2015 press release stated that he's transferred one-third of his assets to the Li Ka Shing Foundation.

His son Victor is set to lead the companies when he retires.

Milestones
  • 1928 Li Ka-shing is born in Chaozhou, Guangdong province.
  • 1940 Family flees to Hong Kong during Sino-Japanese war in the 1930s
  • 1950 Founds Cheung Kong Plastics at age 22.
  • 1972 Cheung Kong Holdings sells shares in a public offering.
  • 1979 Acquires control of Hutchison Whampoa.
  • 1987 Acquires 43 percent stake in Canada's Husky Energy.
  • 1996 Pays ransom for release of kidnapped son Victor.
  • 2014 Meets with China's President Xi before start of Occupy Hong Kong protest.
  • 2015 Li completes the biggest reorganization of his empire.
  • 2017 Buys Sydney-based gas and electricity distributor Duet Group for $5.5 billion.