Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

# 360 Joseph Lau $6.54B

Random fact: Collects wine, jewelry and art.

Overview

Lau is the former chairman of Chinese Estates Holdings, a Hong Kong property developer. He controls three-quarters of the publicly traded company, which builds offices, shopping malls and housing projects in the city's main commercial districts. It reported revenue of HK$1.3 billion ($167 million) in 2021.

As of :
Last change +$27.3M ( +0.4%)
YTD change -$13.9M ( -0.2%)
Biggest asset Hong Kong Commercial Properties
Country / Region Hong Kong
Age 71
Industry Real Estate
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Joseph Lau's net worth of $6.54B can buy ...

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barrels of crude oil

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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 U.S. existing home sales
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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
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Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Lau's fortune is derived from property in Hong Kong that he holds privately and through publicly traded Chinese Estates Holdings. 

He's collected more than HK$45 billion ($5.7 billion) in dividends from Chinese Estates, according to company filings and an analysis of data compiled by Bloomberg. Lau uses the proceeds to purchase real estate from the publicly traded company, which he then holds privately. Those properties -- the most valuable of which are Hong Kong's Silvercord and Windsor House -- are valued using the price he paid for them and adjusted to reflect market movement recorded by Hong Kong's Rating and Valuation Department.

He controls 75% of Chinese Estates, according to the company's 2021 semi-annual report. Shares held by his wife Chan Hoi Wan and children, following a March 1, 2017, restructuring, remain attributed to him to reflect his status as founder. Lau is also credited with stakes held by his wife in publicly-traded Shengjing Bank and China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group.

The billionaire owns residential and commercial properties in London and Hong Kong, and has investments in art and jewelry. His collection of paintings includes Andy Warhol's "Mao" and Paul Gauguin's "Te Poipoi." He bought five diamonds for $127.5 million between 2009 and 2015 that are valued according to their purchase prices.

Peggy Wan, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for Chinese Estates, declined to comment on Lau's net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 7/21/1951
Family: Married, 6 children
Education: University of Windsor

Born in Hong Kong in 1951, Joseph Lau attended the University of Windsor in Canada before returning to the city to join his family's business making electric fans. He renamed the company Evergo Industrial Enterprise, which held an initial public offering in Hong Kong in 1983. Two years later, Lau switched Evergo's business focus to investment-holding and property-management services.

Lau became the majority shareholder of Chinese Estates when he acquired a 43% stake in the company through Evergo, according to a 1986 Hong Kong stock exchange filing. Since then, he's expanded his real estate investments through a series of acquisitions. Chinese Estates finished building The ONE, Hong Kong's tallest retail complex, in 2010.

Lau was charged with bribery and money laundering in Macau in 2012 in connection with a land purchase by Chinese Estates, prosecutors said. In March 2014, Lau resigned from his positions as chairman and CEO after a Macau court sentenced him to five years and three months imprisonment.

Milestones
  • 1951 Joseph Lau Luen Hung is born in Hong Kong.
  • 1974 Starts working for family's electric fan business.
  • 1978 Renames the company Evergo Industrial Enterprise.
  • 1983 Evergo sells shares through an initial public offering in Hong Kong.
  • 1986 Buys majority stake in Chinese Estates.
  • 1992 Expands Chinese Estates property business into China.
  • 2000 Acquires 67 percent stake in Chi Cheung Investment.
  • 2010 Completes The ONE, the tallest retail complex in Hong Kong.
  • 2015 Agreed to sell tower in Hong Kong to China Evergrande Group for $1.6 billion.