(Robert Kuok tops our … )
1. Robert Kuok Hock Nien, 78
Chairman, Kuok Group and Kerry Group Ltd
ROBERT Kuok tops our list, due mainly to his substantial assets overseas,
estimated at RM7.6 billion. His Malaysian operations are valued at RM1.12
His flagship company is Kerry Group, which currently supplies 90 per
cent of Malaysia’s sugar needs and 80 per cent of its wheat. Kerry is also
involved in commodity-trading, real estate, petroleum products and hotel
Kuok, who is probably the best known Malaysian businessman abroad, has
ventured into countries like Indonesia, China and the Philippines and is
one of the largest investors in China.
He is said to be grooming successors. His son Khoon Ean and nephews
Edward Kuok Khoon Loong and Kuok Khoon Ho, and niece Kuok Oon Kwong are
among the group’s emerging second echelon.
Khoon Ean is the executive director of South China Morning Post
(Holdings) Ltd (SCMP) while Khoon Loong heads Kerry Properties, the
company that spearheads the Kuok Group’s property investment and
development in Hong Kong and China.
Khoon Ho is the managing director of Shangri-La Asia Ltd. Khoon Ean,
Khoon Loong and Oon Kwong sit on board Allgreen Properties Ltd, a leading
property developer in Singapore.
Married twice with eight children, Kuok’s business interests are spread
across 15 listed companies across the Asia Pacific. Born on Oct 6, 1923 in
Johor Bahru, he and his two brothers studied at Raffles College, Singapore
before going to England to further their education.
A Fuzhou by descent, Kuok made his early fortunes through the trading of
sugar in Malaysia when he built the country’s first sugar refinery,
Malaysia Sugar Manufacturing Company, in 1964. He earned the nickname
`Sugar King’ for his monopoly of the commodity.
In the 1970s, he began to venture into light manufacturing and
downstream food processing activities. He then expanded by setting up the
luxury hotel chain, Shangri-La, that today has 38 leisure outfits
stretching from Dubai to Fiji and China. Kuok is also credited with
setting up the Malaysian Shipping Line Corporation, Malaysian Shipyard
Engineering and Malaysia Airlines.
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