Saturday, January 18, 2014

In Asia, Superman losing out to Galaxyman

The house wins big

For almost as long as one can remember, Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing (locally nicknamed Superman) has been the world’s wealthiest Chinese person. His sole rival for the overall Asian crown in recent years has been India’s Mukesh Ambani of the Reliance Group. However, there is a relative newcomer now nipping at Superman’s cape - Liu Che-Woo. Mr. Liu’s claim to fortune and fame? Macau. Yes, those gaudier-than-thou casinos which now generate gaming revenues seven times higher than Las Vegas.
Mr. Liu and his family are the majority shareholder of the Galaxy group of casinos, Asia’s third largest.Bloomberg/Businessweek puts his net worth at close to $24 billion, a stone’s throw away from Li’s $29 billion. Mr. Liu’s wealth has grown by 12% over the past year on the back of Macau’s 18% growth rate and Galaxy’s share price doubling. Mr. Li, meanwhile has seen stagnant growth caused by the kryptonite (for him) of diversification in mature industries.
An interesting side note is that, after Bill Gates and his $15.5 billion increase in net worth, the second highest gainer on the list belonged to Sheldon Adelson and his $14.4 billion rise. Adelson’s source of wealth superpower? You guessed it. Macau.  

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