Share |

HK property matriarch transfers shares to Kwok brothers despite impending trial

The controlling shareholder of one of the largest real estate companies in Hong Kong, Sun Hung Kai Properties, has handed a significant chunk of shares to two of her three sons, even though they are awaiting trial for bribery of an official.
Kwong Siu-hing and her son Thomas
©WiNG

The controlling shareholder of one of the largest real estate companies in Hong Kong, Sun Hung Kai Properties, has handed a significant chunk of shares to two of her three sons, even though they are awaiting trial for bribery of an official.

Kwong Siu-hing, 84, widow of the business's founder, Kwok Tak-seng, gave a 6.36% stake in the company to each of her two youngest sons, Thomas and Raymond Kwok. In total the 12.72% block of shares was worth HK$33.1 billion (€3.1 billion).

The two men were previously co-chairmen of Sun Hung Kai Properties, but stepped back from their roles after being charged with bribing a senior government official in 2012 to the tune of HK$35 million.

Kwong's eldest son Walter, was not given a stake. He was chairman of the company after the death of his father in 1990, but left the post in 2008 after his mother forcibly imposed a "leave of absence" on him.

Walter suffered mental health problems after being kidnapped in 1998, his mother also disapproved of his mistress, a lawyer, whom she thought had excessive influence over Walter and the company.

The family has a 43.43% stake in the family business held in a trust and each of the Kwong's three sons were due to inherit a third of this stake.

However in 2010 the trust was reorganised so that Walter's stake was allocated to "Walter Kwok's family", a change from "Walter Kwok and his family", meaning Walter was no longer a beneficiary.

The family's overall holding has not changed, but Raymond and Thomas now own 6.36% of the shares each outright, rather than in the family trust.

This boosts their net worth to $10 billion (€7.3 billion), up from $8.3 billion according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index.

The two men are still awaiting trial, and their sons, third gens Adam and Edward Kwok, have been running the $7 billion-a-year company in the interim.  

Click here >>
Close