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This story is part of Forbes’ coverage of Hong Kong’s Richest 2023. See the full list here.
Hong Kong’s property downturn hasn’t kept Lee Shau Kee’s Henderson Land Development from new pursuits. The company is betting on a market recovery despite a slump in its earnings and stock price amid Covid-19 curbs and rising interest rates. Henderson’s net profit for the first half of 2022 dropped 27% to HK$4.8 billion ($613 million) from a year earlier on higher construction and financial costs, despite 8% higher revenue. Nevertheless, the company has been expanding both commercial and residential projects to fuel future growth. The founder’s wealth declined $3.9 billion to $30.3 billion since we last measured fortunes.
Last November, Henderson Land submitted its design plan for a HK$114 billion landmark development at Hong Kong’s Central harborfront with almost 150,000 square meters of office and retail space. It won the site tender in November 2021 and expects to complete the first phase in 2027 and the second in 2032. The company has also been acquiring adjoining old buildings in the Kowloon area for a residential renewal project, including a HK$1.2 billion purchase last September.
Meanwhile, the recent reopening of quarantine-free cross-boundary travel with China has spurred sales of the third phase of One Innovale, its residential project in the city’s New Territories. More than half of its 565 units were snapped up as of January. In its latest report, property agency CBRE said it expects eased border controls to spur transaction volumes and commercial real estate investment in Asia-Pacific, with Hong Kong ranking fifth among preferred cities—Tokyo and Singapore ranked first and second, respectively. Lee Shau Kee founded Henderson Land in 1976 and stepped down as chairman in 2019, handing the