Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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

# 92 Robert Kuok $17.9B

Random fact: Served on a council of elders for Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.


Kuok controls businesses across Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong including Wilmar International, the world's largest palm-oil refiner. His biggest holding is PPB Group, a Kuala Lumpur-based agriculture conglomerate. Kuok's other assets include stakes in real estate developer Kerry Properties and hotel operator Shangri-La Asia.

As of :
Last change -$37.5M ( -0.2%)
YTD change +$906M ( +5.3%)
Biggest asset Cash
Country / Region Malaysia
Age 99
Industry Diversified
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Robert Kuok's net worth of $17.9B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Kuok's fortune is derived from assets he controls through a network of closely held vehicles, including Kuok (Singapore), Kuok Brothers in Malaysia and Kerry Group in Hong Kong. Corporate filings disclose as many as a hundred shareholders within the network. Because individual stakes can't be determined, the wealth is considered a family fortune and attributed entirely to the billionaire, who is the founder and patriarch.

Through the holding companies, the family controls 51% of conglomerate PPB Group, whose interests range from agriculture to property, according to its July 22, 2022 filing.

The family also owns 60% of Hong Kong-listed real estate developer Kerry Properties according to its 2022 semi-annual report, and 50% of Shangri-La Asia according to the company's 2022 semi-annual report.

Other publicly traded assets include palm oil trader Wilmar International, the world's largest palm-oil refiner, as well as stakes in Hong Kong-based logistics services provider Kerry Logistics and Sydney-based coal producer Whitehaven Coal.

Singapore-based property developer Allgreen Properties is valued using the average price-to-book value and price-to-earnings multiples of three publicly traded peer companies: GuocoLand, UOL Group and Frasers Property.

Kuok (Singapore), a sea freight provider, is valued based on the average price-to-book ratios of three publicly traded peers: Olam International, Wilmar and Misc.

He's collected about $5.1 billion in dividends, according to company filings and an analysis of Bloomberg data. The value of Kuok's cash investments is based on these proceeds as well as insider transactions, taxes and market performance.

Kuok declined to comment on the calculation of his net worth in an email.


Family: Married, 8 children

Kuok was born in 1923, in the southernmost Malaysian state of Johor, the youngest of three brothers. His father, an immigrant from China's Fujian province, was a trader of agricultural commodities. In 1941, Kuok was a student at Raffles College in Singapore when the Japanese bombed the island and declared war. He returned to Johor and worked in the local office of Japanese trading company Mitsubishi Corp., heading the rice department.

After his father died in 1948, he established Kuok Brothers with other family members. The company traded rice, sugar and wheat flour. He set up Malaysian Sugar Manufacturing in 1959, which became the Southeast Asian nation's biggest refiner, controlling 60 percent of the domestic sugar supply. By the 1970s, he was known as the "Sugar King" after amassing control of 5 percent of the world market. In 1963, Kuok profited from bets in the physical sugar and futures markets when a hurricane damaged Cuba's sugarcane plantations and mills. The billionaire exited Malaysia's sugar industry in 2009. Kuala Lumpur-based PPB Group, which he and his family control, sold its sugar investments for $380 million in 2009 to Felda Global Ventures.

In 1971, Kuok built his first Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore, and followed with the Kowloon Shangri-La in Hong Kong six years later. Hong Kong-listed Shangri-La Asia, the region's biggest luxury hotel group, managed 98 hotels -- half in China -- as of July 2016.

Kuok moved his headquarters to Hong Kong from Singapore and Malaysia in 1974, and set up Kerry Holdings. Kuok and his family own many of his assets in Hong Kong and China, including developer Kerry Properties, through the holding company.

During China's crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square, the billionaire continued to build the China World Trade Center, a partnership with the government in Beijing. Kuok's Kerry Group started a bottling venture with Coca-Cola in 1993. The world's biggest soft-drink maker gradually bought out Kerry's stake in the venture starting in 2006.

In 2007, Kuok merged his plantations, edible oil and grains businesses with Singapore-based Wilmar International, transforming it into the world's biggest palm-oil processor. The company is run by his nephew Kuok Khoon Hong.

The billionaire, who has been married twice and has eight children, lives in Deep Water Bay on Hong Kong island. Some of his children run the companies he controls, including Kuok Hui Kwong, chairman of Shangri-La Asia, and Kuok Khoon Ean, chairman of Kuok Singapore.

  • 1923 Born in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
  • 1949 Sets up Kuok Brothers trading commodities.
  • 1953 Expands into Singapore with Kuok (Singapore).
  • 1971 Builds his first Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore.
  • 1974 Sets up Kerry Holdings in Hong Kong.
  • 1977 Buys land in Hong Kong and builds Kowloon Shangri-La.
  • 1993 Buys controlling stake in South China Morning Post.
  • 1996 Kerry Properties sells shares in Hong Kong.
  • 2009 Exits Malaysian sugar industry by selling investments.
  • 2014 PACC Offshore Services starts trading in Singapore.
  • 2017 Daughter Kuok Hui Kwong takes over as chairman of Shangri-La Asia