More than one in seven of the richest people in China are from Hong Kong, the 2013 Hurun global rich list revealed yesterday.
The city trails only Moscow and New York in the number of its billionaires. A total of 1,453 ultra-rich people, with personal wealth of at least US$1 billion, are ranked in the annual Hurun Report this year. Hong Kong is home to 54 of them, part of a total of 357 from China.
Li Ka-shing, chairman of Cheung Kong, remains the richest person in the region and seventh worldwide. His wealth is estimated at US$32 billion, up 33 per cent from the year before.
Zong Qinghou, chairman of soft drink maker Hangzhou Wahaha, with US$13 billion, is the richest person on the mainland for a second year. He rose on the global list to 64th from 68th.
At the top of the world ranking are Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu and his family, who own US$66 billion through telecommunications firm America Movil and other businesses. Veteran US investor Warren Buffett, Spanish fashion retailer Amancio Ortega and Microsoft founder Bill Gates rank second to fourth.
"The past year has seen a rebound in the wealth of the private sector, mainly thanks to the rise in stock markets in the United States and a stronger US dollar," said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report, a Shanghai-based research firm founded in 1999.
The wealth of the 10 richest people grew as much as 22 per cent from last year, he said.
Twenty-eight per cent of the billionaires are from the United States, 25 per cent from China and 6 per cent from Russia.
A total of 219 people on the list grew rich in real estate. Besides Li, Lee Shau-kee of Henderson Land Development, Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen of Sun Hung Kai Properties, Cheng Yu-tung of New World Development and Wang Jianlin of Dalian Wanda are among property tycoons in the top 100.
Telecommunications, high technology, investment, retailing and manufacturing also have a higher share of the ultra-rich than other industries.
The billionaires' average age is 63, with one in 10 female. Chinese billionaires tend to be younger, with an average age of 58.