Report: Hong Kong's Kwok family loses US$8b in a single year

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 5): The Kwok family’s Sun Hung Kai Properties “has seen its fortune shrink by almost US$8 billion (RM33.6 billion) in the past 12 months,” reported Bloomberg.

The report stated that the company known as the biggest developer in the world is trading at less than half the value of the company's net assets or “within a hair's breadth of the most depressed level on record”.

This meant that it represented “the steepest drop among Asian clans on Bloomberg's ranking” of the world's richest families.

Sun Hung Kai Properties has been reported to be heavily impacted by the political and economic crises afflicting Hong Kong in recent months.

Of note is the implementation of the controversial new national security law, the impact from anti-government protests and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hong Kong is going through its worst recession on record with office vacancy rates at the worst in 15 years, while mall rents are falling fast and home prices have also fallen.

Owning numerous office towers, hotels, shopping malls and apartment blocks in the ex-British territory, Sun Hung Kai has “more riding on Hong Kong's success than almost any other company”, said Bloomberg.

"The long-term value of these assets is tied to Hong Kong and the integration of Hong Kong into China. Growth in the future will not be as high as in the past," said Gilles Hilary, professor at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business for the report.

For their part, the family continuous to remain confident about Hong Kong, with Sun Hung Kai Properties chairman supporting the national security law while making efforts to diversify to mainland China.

Sun Hung Kai also said that it will remain “focused on Hong Kong” while playing “a key part in supporting the city's role as a financial centre”.

"The group would maintain its strong focus on Hong Kong in the future as it has full confidence in the One Country, Two Systems principle," the group said in a statement to Bloomberg.

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