Tycoon Li Ka-shing may not be the richest Chinese any more, but he still dominates Hong Kong in many ways. His wealth is enough to fund the Hong Kong government’s spending for more than six months, according to Bloomberg’s “Robin Hood Index.”
With a net worth of US$34.7 billion, the 90-year-old CK Hutchison and Cheung Kong Assets chairman could support the Hong Kong government’s spending for 191 days should he decide to donate all his money to the public.
That would put Li among the top three of the top 49 in the Robin Hood Index, which divides the net worth of each country’s wealthiest person into his or her own government’s spending.
By that calculation, the man who dominated as the richest Hong Kong tycoon for at least 20 years only trails the 441 days of Cyprus tycoon John Fredriksen and the 430 days of Georgian magnate Bidzina Ivanishvili.
It also puts Li way ahead of China’s richest man Jack Ma, whose net worth of US$47.8 billion could cover Beijing’s public spending for only four days.
That puts the Alibaba chairman just behind Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man. With a net worth of US$99 billion, Bezos could handle Washington’s outlay for four days.
Interestingly, Ma’s lieutenant Joseph Tsai, Alibaba vice-chairman and the richest man in Canada, could cover Ottawa’s spending for five days as well with his US$10 billion wealth.
Another tycoon friend of Ma, Robert Kuok, who sold Hong Kong’s largest English-language newspaper the South China Morning Post in 2015, could support Kuala Lumpur for 95 months with his total wealth of close to US$20 billion.