Robert Kuok Hock Nien, a Malaysian businessman and investor of Chinese ancestry, was born on October 6, 1923. Kuok has been a resident of Hong Kong since 1973. Forbes estimated that in April 2023, his net worth would be $16.8 billion, which made him the 104th wealthiest person in the world and the richest person in Malaysia.
Kuok is the 53rd richest person in the world as of April 2019, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with an estimated net worth of $18.4 billion back in 2019. Kuok avoids the media, and he and his family own the majority of his companies. His enterprises have stakes in other nations around Asia in addition to numerous businesses in Malaysia.
His companies, collectively referred to as the Kuok Group of Companies, are involved in a variety of business ventures, including sugarcane plantations (Perlis Plantations Bhd), sugar refineries, flour mills, animal feed, oil, mining, finance, hotels (Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts), real estate (Kerry Properties), trading, properties (Kerry Properties), freight (Kerry Logistics), and publishing.
The largest publicly traded palm oil dealer in the world, Wilmar International, is where he derives the majority of his money. Kuok was chosen to serve as a member of the Council of Eminent Persons to assist the newly elected Malaysian government in 2018.
Robert Kuok Bio/Wiki
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Kuok was born to a Malaysian Chinese family on October 6, 1923, in Johor Bahru. Robert was the youngest of three brothers born to Kuok Keng Kang and Zheng Ge Ru, Kuok’s mother, who both immigrated to Malaya from Fuzhou, China, around the turn of the 20th century.
During Japan’s occupation of Malaya during World War II, he was raised speaking the Fuzhou dialect of his parents as well as English and Japanese. He attended English College Johore Bahru and Raffles Institution, where Lee Kuan Yew was a classmate of his.
Kuok has two previous marriages, to Pauline Ho Poh Lin and Joyce Cheah. As a result of his marriage, he has eight kids. His son Kuok Khoon Ean, who was born in 1955 and married Kuok Cheng Sui, is a graduate of the University of Nottingham in England with a bachelor’s degree in economics.
Kuok Khoon Ho, his other son, who was born in 1951 and has a bachelor’s degree from Canada’s McGill University, is the chairman of Kuok Brothers. His daughter, Kuok Hui Kwong, serves as chairman of Shangri-La Asia and managing director and chief executive of SCMP Group.
The majority of the day-to-day management of his company is handled by one of his sons, Kuok Khoon Ean. He is presently a Kuala Lumpur resident. Philip Kuok Hock Khee, the brother of Kuok, served as Malaysia’s previous ambassador to Germany, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Denmark.
After marrying Eileen Kuok, Philip gave birth to two boys and two daughters. 2003 saw Philip Kuok’s death. William Kuok Hock Ling, another brother, was a member of the Malayan Communist Party and was murdered in 1952 during the Malayan Emergency.
In his book, Kuok wrote that his mother Zheng Ge Ru loved and admired William the most out of all the brothers and was devastated to learn of his passing. Kuok Khoon Hong, his nephew and the head of Wilmar International, is one of Singapore’s wealthiest individuals. Robert Kuok’s elder cousin Kuok Hock Swee was the father of Kuok Khoon Hong.
Robert Kuok Education
He attended English College Johore Bahru and Raffles Institution, where Lee Kuan Yew was a classmate of his.
Robert Kuok Family
Kuok has been married twice before—first to Pauline Ho Poh Lin and once to Joyce Cheah. He has eight children as a consequence of his marriage. His son Kuok Khoon Ean, who was born in 1955 and married Kuok Cheng Sui, has an economics bachelor’s degree from the University of Nottingham in England.
The chairman of the Kuok Brothers is Kuok Khoon Ho, his other son, who was born in 1951 and holds a bachelor’s degree from Canada’s McGill University. Kuok Hui Kwong, his daughter, holds the positions of managing director and chief executive of SCMP Group as well as chairman of Shangri-La Asia. One of his sons, Kuok Khoon Ean, manages his business on a daily basis to a large extent. He now resides in Kuala Lumpur.
Kuok claims that he started off working as an office boy before launching his own company with the help of his family. He joined forces and started working as a clerk for Mitsubishi, a Japanese industrial company, after graduating. Shoji Kaisha was a corporation that, with the aid of a Japanese military unit, monopolised the rice trade in Malaya between 1942 and 1945, when Japan was occupying Singapore.
He was shortly given the position of department head for trading in rice. He used the occupation force’s training for the family company in Johor after the war. Kuok, his two brothers, and a relative named Kuok Hock Chin established Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd in 1949 to trade agricultural products after the death of the senior Kuok in 1948.
After Malaya obtained independence, Kuok’s ties with the Japanese persisted. With two eminent Japanese partners, Kuok founded Malayan Sugar Manufacturing Co. Bhd. in 1959. Additionally, he added several powerful Malay elites, including monarchy and politicians, to his board of directors and shareholder list.
He purchased inexpensive sugar from India in 1961 before the price spiked and continued to invest heavily in sugar refineries, eventually controlling 80% of the Malaysian sugar market and producing 1.5 million tonnes of sugar, or 10% of the global output, earning him the moniker “Sugar King of Asia.” He constructed Singapore’s first Shangri-La Hotel in 1971.
In 1977, he made his first entry into Hong Kong real estate when he bought a piece of land on the waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui East, which had just been reclaimed. On this ground, he later constructed his second hotel, the Kowloon Shangri-La. His Kerry Group bought a 34.9 per cent ownership in the South China Morning Post in 1993 from News Corporation, owned by Rupert Murdoch. On April 1st, 1993, Kuok formally retired from the Kerry Group.
His corporations have financial ties to several nations, including Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, China’s mainland, Indonesia, Fiji, and Australia. Ten Coca-Cola bottling firms operate in China, and the Beijing World Trade Center is one of their properties. Transmile Group and Malaysian Bulk Carriers Berhad both have interests in freight.
Wilmar International became the largest palm oil processor in the world after Kuok joined forces with it in 2007 to unite his plantations, edible oil, and grains businesses. Robert Kuok-led PPB Group announced to Bursa Malaysia on October 31, 2009, that it has chosen to sell its sugar plants and the land used to grow sugar cane to FELDA for RM 1.29 billion.
The sales gave the business a one-time profit. In order to raise $400 million, Kuok’s Singapore-based oil services business PACC Offshore Services Holdings (POSH) began pre-IPO discussions with investors in February 2014.
Involvement In Politics
His nomination as one of the Hong Kong Affairs Advisors in the run-up to Hong Kong’s handover of sovereignty and his minority ownership in CITIC Pacific are testaments to his political clout.
In addition, he played a key role in coordinating the discussions between the governments of Malaysia and China which resulted in complete diplomatic recognition between the two nations. Following the 2018 Malaysian general election (GE14), which resulted in a change of government, Kuok was chosen on May 12 as one of the five members of the Council of Eminent Persons to advise the newly elected Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government.
The other members are Tun Daim Zainuddin, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Tan Sri Hassan Marican, and Jomo Kwame Sundaram.
Robert Kuok Net Worth
His current net worth is $16.8 Billion as of 2023. A network of closely held companies, including Kuok (Singapore), Kuok Brothers in Malaysia, and Kerry Group in Hong Kong, are where the majority of Kuok’s wealth comes from. According to corporate documents, the network’s stockholders number up to 100.
The riches are regarded as a family fortune and totally credited to the billionaire, who founded and is the patriarch, as it is impossible to establish the individual stakes. According to the PPB Group’s 2020 annual report, the family owns 51 per cent of the conglomerate through the holding companies, whose interests include everything from agriculture to real estate.
In addition, according to the family’s 2021 semi-annual report and the company’s 2021 semi-annual report, the family controls 50% of Shangri-La Asia and 60% of the Hong Kong-listed real estate developer Kerry Properties. The biggest palm oil refiner in the world, Wilmar International, as well as holdings in Kerry Logistics, a logistics services provider located in Hong Kong, and Whitehaven Coal, a coal producer based in Sydney, are among other publicly listed assets.
The average price-to-book value and price-to-earnings multiples of GuocoLand, UOL Group, and Frasers Property, three publicly listed comparable businesses, are used to assess Singapore-based real estate developer Allgreen Properties. A marine freight service named Kuok (Singapore) is evaluated using the average price-to-book ratios of three other companies that are publicly traded: Olam International, Wilmar, and Misc.
According to corporate filings and a study of data from Bloomberg, he has received dividends totalling nearly $3.5 billion. These earnings, together with insider trading, taxes, and market performance, are used to determine the worth of Kuok’s cash investments.
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