BEIJING Feb 25 Real estate remained the most
lucrative road to riches in China last year, according to the
Hurun Global Rich List, despite Beijing's repeated efforts to
cool red-hot property prices.
Six of world's 10 top real estate tycoons are now from
China and Hong Kong, according to Hurun Report Inc, which
released its Global Rich list on Tuesday.
Hong Kong property tycoon Li Kai-shing claimed the top spot
in the Greater China area with his fortune rising 3 percent to
200 billion yuan ($32.80 billion).
Wang Jianlin, chairman of China's largest commercial
property developer, Dalian Wanda Group, and Lui Che-Woo, founder
of casino operator, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd,
were the runners-up with personal wealth of 150 billion yuan
($24.60 billion) each.
Wang's fortune doubled last year, while Lui's wealth jumped
108 percent, the report said.
Wang bought UK luxury yacht maker Sunseeker for $1.6 billion
and is planning billion-dollar luxury hotel developments in
London and New York.
Home prices in many Chinese cities continued to set records
last year despite a four-year government campaign to cool the
housing market, official data showed.
Lee Shau Kee, chairman and founder Henderson Land
Development Co Ltd and No. 3 on the global top 10
property developer's list, saw his personal wealth shrink last
year, dropping 9 percent to $21 billion. Developer Robert Kuok
of the Kuok Group and No. 4 on the list, saw his fortune fall 16
percent to $16 billion.
In China, a country that is still transforming itself into a
fully market-oriented economy, close ties between business and
politics were also apparent.
Among the 358 Chinese billionaires, 87 had senior political
associations. Fifty-six are members of Chinese People's
Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and 31 are members of
National People's Congress (NPC), according to Rupert
Hoogewerf, chairman of Hurun Report Inc.
Beverage magnate Zong Qinghou, founder of China's leading
beverage maker, Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co Ltd, is an NPC
delegate, while Robin Li, founder and chief executive of China's
largest search engine, Baidu Inc is a CPPCC delegate.
The CPPCC and NPC are powerful political bodies that can
help shape the country's major political and economical
Fifty-seven Chinese billionaires come from Beijing, while
24 are from Shanghai and 27 from Shenzhen, the report said.
Sixty-five billionaires are from Hong Kong.