Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 72 Lui Che Woo $16.6B

Random fact: Supplying concrete earned him the nickname "King of the Quarry."

Overview

Lui controls K. Wah Group, a closely held Hong Kong conglomerate that owns stakes in publicly traded casino operator Galaxy Entertainment and property developer K. Wah International. Galaxy is one of six gaming license holders in Macau, and competes against casinos owned by Sheldon Adelson and Stanley Ho.

As of :
Last change -$543M ( -3.2%)
YTD change +$2.66B ( +19.1%)
Industry Entertainment
Biggest asset 27 HK Equity
Citizenship Hong Kong
Age 90
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Lui Che Woo's net worth of $16.6B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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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 Lui's wealth is derived from a 41% stake in Galaxy Entertainment, a Macau-based publicly traded casino operator. He also owns 54% of Hong Kong-based K. Wah International, a property developer with businesses in China and Southeast Asia. 

His shares in Galaxy and K. Wah are held by him and his family through holding companies and trusts registered in Hong Kong and Liberia. All of these shares are attributed to him because he's the founder and patriarch of the fortune.

Lui also owns San Francisco-based Stanford Hotels Corporation and Hong Kong-based Stanford Hotels International through closely held conglomerate K. Wah Group. The hospitality business is composed of 13 hotels in the U.S. and three in Hong Kong, including his first hotel, InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong. 

Each hotel has been individually valued using occupancy rates, room rates and capitalization rates aggregated from data compiled by HVS, Bloomberg CMBS, JLL, the Hong Kong Tourism Board, as well as annual reports from Marriott International and Hilton Worldwide. He's determined to own the hotels outright based on his authorized biography. Because of the age of the properties -- most were built in the 1980s and 1990s -- they are considered to be debt free in this analysis. Income the properties may have generated isn't known and hasn't been included in the calculation.

The value of his cash holdings is based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes and market performance.

Shelly Cheng, a spokesperson for Lui and deputy general manager of corporate affairs at K. Wah, declined to comment on Lui's net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 1/1/1929
Family: Married, 5 children
Education:

Lui was born in 1929, in the city of Jiangmen in Guangdong province, after his family moved back to China from San Francisco, where they had made a fortune running a laundry. Lui followed his family as they fled war-torn China for Hong Kong in 1934. After graduating from middle school, Japanese troops entered the city. At age 13, Lui began to support his family by selling food on the streets of the British colony.

In the 1950s, Lui began to buy surplus construction equipment from U.S. forces in Okinawa and imported it to Hong Kong. When he couldn’t sell some stone crushers, he started a quarrying business. The 26-year-old then founded K. Wah Group, whose construction materials have been used in a quarter of all Hong Kong buildings, according to the company’s website.

The billionaire next turned to property development, investing in his first residential project in 1962. He began constructing his first Hong Kong hotel in East Tsim Sha Tsui in 1979. The property was originally a Holiday Inn, and has since been rebranded as the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong.

When Macau ended the four-decade monopoly of local tycoon Stanley Ho in 2002, Lui's Galaxy Casino Co., with Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands, won one of the three gaming concessions put up by the government. Within a year, the partners had split the license after a falling out over strategy: Adelson wanted to re-create Las Vegas in China, Lui wanted to cater to Asian tastes. StarWorld Macau, where gamblers can bet up to $250,000 a hand, opened across the street from Ho's Grand Lisboa in 2006. His $1.9 billion, 2,200-room Galaxy Macau resort opened after a two-year delay in 2011.

The octogenarian has turned his attention to the golf course while his eldest son, Francis, runs his casino business. A younger son, Lawrence, runs the San Francisco-based Stanford Hotels, which owns eight Hiltons, two Sheratons, and three Marriotts in the U.S. His third son, Alexander, is an executive director of K. Wah International and oversees its Hong Kong properties. His eldest daughter, Paddy, is an executive director of both K. Wah and Galaxy Entertainment, where his youngest daughter Eileen serves as director of human resources and administration.

Milestones
  • 1929 Lui Che-Woo is born in Jiangmen in southern China.
  • 1934 Family flees to Hong Kong after war breaks out in China.
  • 1955 Establishes the first K. Wah company in Hong Kong.
  • 1981 Opens first Hong Kong hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui East.
  • 1985 Ventures into U.S. hotel business by starting Stanford Hotels.
  • 2002 Wins one of three gaming concessions in Macau.
  • 2005 Lists Galaxy Entertainment Group in Hong Kong.
  • 2011 Galaxy Macau, a 2,200-room casino resort, opens after delays.
  • 2015 Establishes the Lui Che-Woo Prize for World Civilization
  • 2016 Overtakes Sands China as Macau's market leader.